Apple has acknowledged that iCloud accounts belonging to a number of celebrities have been "compromised" - but denied that its security measures were at fault.
In a statement released yesterday evening the iPhone manufacturer said that hackers stole private nude photographers from its accounts using "a very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security questions".
Apple said that these attacks have "become all to common on the Internet," adding: "None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
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The statement confirm the best guesses of security experts as to how scores of personal images were stolen from private accounts and posted on anonymous image sharing forum 4Chan on Sunday evening.
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It's thought that the hacker or hackers either guessed their targets' passwords using common words or phrase, or used information circulating in the public domain to answer 'security questions' needed to reset accounts.
The FBI has said that it is currently looking for the original hacker, but posts from anonymous forums claim that the problem is far more widespread, with an "underground celeb-n00d trading ring" dedicated to cracking famous accounts and stealing personal photos.
Worried iCloud users are advised to create a stronger password for their account (using a combination of upper and lower case letters and avoiding common or personal words and phrases) or to turn on two-step verification.Reuse content