Apple 'Actively Investigating' Possible Hacking of Celebrity iCloud Accounts

icloud_icon_blueApple is investigating an alleged breach of several celebrity iCloud accounts that may have allowed hackers to access the private photos and videos of multiple well-known actresses, according to a statement an Apple spokesperson gave to Re/code.

Apple said it was "actively investigating" the violation of several of its iCloud accounts, in which revealing photos and videos of prominent Hollywood actresses were taken and posted all over the Web.

"We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

Over the weekend, hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were leaked on 4chan before spreading to multiple Internet sites, with one of the involved hackers pointing towards iCloud as the source of the material.

Security researchers have postulated that weak passwords and a lack of two-factor authentication may have led to the breach if iCloud is the source of the leaked images, and it's also possible that a Python script shared on Github a few days ago may have allowed hackers to exploit a vulnerability in Find My iPhone.

As described by The Next Web, the tool allowed hackers to repeatedly guess passwords without being locked out of an iCloud/Apple ID account, brute forcing their way into accounts. Though it is unclear if the tool was responsible for any hacked celebrity accounts, Apple did fix the vulnerability earlier today. Attempting to use the tool now locks an Apple ID after five attempts to guess a password.

Multiple security researchers have suggested that any iCloud attacks may have been preventable with two-factor authentication, which Apple first introduced in March of 2013. The two-step verification system adds an additional layer of protection for Apple accounts, requiring both a security code and a "trusted" device to log into an account, in addition to a password.

Top Rated Comments

cdmoore74 Avatar
84 months ago
Earlier today in Cupertino:

Tim – Phil, we can’t say a word about iCloud next week. Jennifer Lawrence is going to go hunger games on our a$$$$es. What do we do?

Phil – Talk bad about Android fragmentation as we always do!

Tim – You’re right! Android distribution numbers are always a classless punchline during our keynotes.

Phil – Lets have Craig do it. We can throw in a joke about his hair.

Tim – Just make sure you don’t use iCloud when saving the keynote. We don’t want the public to know our plans. Oh wait, that’s how the iPhone 6 parts got leaked on the internet.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
impulse462 Avatar
84 months ago
I love some people were so mad about the NSA violating privacy, but are praising some random guy who pretty much did exactly what the NSA does.

Anyway, I feel bad for the celebs, but typical 4chan.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
84 months ago

That's a pretty big vulnerability they left open. I wonder if Apple will now force people to use 2 step authentication. As annoying as it is, it works.


I'm uncomfortable with dancing to login.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr.Skynet Avatar
84 months ago
The internet is referring to the incident as "The Fappening". Be sure to tell your grandkids.. You were there.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SgtPepper12 Avatar
84 months ago

It's still not clear if iCloud was the only source, but it certainly looks like at least a portion of the photos were obtained that way.

Maybe if these celebs weren't so careless (and clueless) this wouldn't happen.

I'm sure some of them will be happy they get some mention in the news nowadays.

I don't get why people are defending Apple on this one. You sound like you work for Apple's PR. At this point it is absolutely obvious that it's Apple's fault. They left their platform wide open for attacks like that.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sonmi451 Avatar
84 months ago

Earlier today in Cupertino:

Tim – Phil, we can’t say a word about iCloud next week. Jennifer Lawrence is going to go hunger games on our a$$$$es. What do we do?

Phil – Talk bad about Android fragmentation as we always do!

Tim – You’re right! Android distributions numbers are always a classless punchline during our keynotes.

Phil – Lets have Craig do it. We can throw in a joke about his hair.

Tim – Just make sure you don’t use iCloud when saving the keynote. We don’t want the public to know our plans. Oh wait, that’s how the iPhone 6 parts got leaked on the internet.


Took you long enough to post MacRumors. This has been reported by over 50% of the tech websites hours ago.
I guess unconfirmed Apple news from unconfirmed sources are more important to post before something that actually happened.


I think you just want to criticize Apple and/or Macrumors. Kind of a waste of time if you ask me, but hey don't let me tell you what to do.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...