Apple Reveals Very Little About iCloud Glitch Linked to Celebrity Photo Leak


In a quick move that should surprise no one who read any of 9to5Mac’s exhaustive look into Apple’s PR department, the tech giant very quickly addressed concerns stemming from the weekend incident in which intimate photos of several media personalities leaked online.

The Next Web honed in on iCloud as a possible source for the leak soon after news broke, reporting that a glitch in the “Find My iPhone” service “appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud”

Yesterday a company rep told Re\code:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

As soon as that story went live, multiple headlines claimed that Appleappears to have fixed” the problem. Interestingly, while the official line still tells us only that the investigation is under way, various bloggers seem to have reached that conclusion on their own by attempting to login to iCloud accounts with incorrect passwords.

The problem seems to have stemmed from a glitch in which iCloud did not lock out users after they entered five incorrect passwords, thereby allowing hackers to use the aforementioned “brute force” via a string of automated passwords until arriving at the correct login the iCloud accounts in question.

Apple’s ultimate response should be interesting, but based on the company’s history we expect a very minimal release designed to avoid fueling what is already one of the year’s biggest stories.

The fact that the company has yet to make any real official statement about the leak or its plug simply reaffirms its PR team’s skills in the crisis comms sector.

And yes, everyone should take the company’s “late to the game” advice about setting up two-step verification.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.