With the help of a highly successful journalist Mat Honan, now it is clear that Apple’s iCloud is not as safe as everyone thought, and the question of other cloud services security has been raised. The scandal started with a thorough analysis from the journalist, who reported personal, digital data breaching events that were recorded on the evening of August 3rd, 2012. That particular night, Mat Honan, who currently works for Wired, found out that his iPhone, MacBook and iPad gadgets, as well as Twitter and Gmail accounts were hacked by cyber criminals, using security vulnerabilities connecting Amazon and Apple ID accounts.
As it has been stated in wired.com, hackers initiated the attack by stealing personal address information from a personal web domain. Then, Amazon.com was contacted, with the alleged requirement to add additional credit card numbers, and as the required information was provided, hackers called back the online retailer with the statements about lost access to the email account, linking Amazon and the “owner” of the target account. Now, virtual schemers knew all of the necessary information required to set up a new email as the default contact address, allowing to sign in into the Amazon account. Hackers then were able to acquire the last 4 digits of a legitimate credit card account, needed for identification whilst contacting Apple Care service and breaching Honan’s Apple ID profile. All that hackers needed to do was make some smart phone calls and the account was in their hands in no time. With this access, remote wipeout of gadgets or access to linked accounts was as easy as it gets.
Without a doubt, this is a new approach in the information stealing world and a new window for cyber schemers to appropriate digital identities or even gain access to personal saving accounts. Even if one occurrence cannot identify a worldwide electronic pandemic, this is something to be concerned about, especially as information storing based cloud services are about to become even more popular, with Windows 8 operating system being introduced in a couple of months time. Overall, it is absolutely clear that password based services can no longer guarantee personal identity protection. It is also obvious that billing address and 4 digit combination from one’s credit account, needed to gain access to iCloud, is the type of data that is no longer as unreachable as it has been thought before the incident.
Of course, Apple was quick to apologize to its worldwide community by stating that customer privacy is company’s number one priority, and still this does not ensure the privacy of Apple’s customers. Even company’s co-founder S. Wozniak expressed his concerns, saying: "I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years." Therefore, individuals are rushed to take appropriate measures to secure loopholes, which might stop hackers from manipulating sensitive data, and the composition of secure passwords, two-step authentication systems, or reduction of personal account privileges and linkage between accounts is a course of action which should be implemented by every computer user.