Scammer Infiltrated Thousands of iCloud Accounts to Find Nude Photos

A criminal from Los Angeles has pled guilty to felony charges after breaking into thousands of iCloud accounts to hunt down nude photos of women, reports The Los Angeles Times.

iCloud General Feature
Hao Kuo Chi collected more than 620,000 private photos and videos by impersonating Apple customer support staff and sending out emails to trick his victims into providing Apple IDs and passwords. Chi used social engineering and phishing schemes to coerce his victims, and he did not breach Apple's ‌iCloud‌ protections.

Chi accessed photos and videos from at least 306 victims across the United States, and most of them were young women. Some of the victims were attacked at the request of people that Chi met online after he marketed himself as "icloudripper4you," a service that could break into ‌iCloud‌ accounts to steal photos and videos.

His unknown co-conspirators would ask Chi to hack a specific ‌iCloud‌ account, and he would respond with a Dropbox link. Chi operated two Gmail addresses "applebackupicloud" and "backupagenticloud," where the FBI found more than 500,000 emails with approximately 4,700 ‌iCloud‌ user IDs and passwords that he had been sent from his victims.

Chi's scam fell apart after he hacked the ‌iCloud‌ account of an unnamed public figure in March 2018 and the photos ended up on pornographic websites. The FBI launched an investigation, and found that a log-in to the victim's ‌iCloud‌ account had come from Chi's home.

Chi has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer, and he now faces up to five years in prison for each crime. In a phone call with The Los Angeles Times, Chi said that he was "remorseful" for what he did, but claimed he had a family to support. He said that he was afraid public exposure of his crimes would "ruin [his] whole life."

The unauthorized ‌iCloud‌ access perpetrated by Chi is similar to a 2014 attack that saw hackers gain access to celebrity iCloud accounts through their username and password.

After that incident, Apple bolstered ‌iCloud‌ account security, offering two-factor authentication and sending emails whenever there's a new login to an ‌iCloud‌ account. The people involved in Chi's attack likely did not have two-factor authentication enabled.

Apple recommends two-factor authentication for all Apple IDs to add extra security, and it offers a support document on how to avoid phishing schemes like the one used by Chi.

Tag: iCloud

Top Rated Comments

ComRadMac Avatar
17 months ago
"he was afraid public exposure of his crimes would "ruin [his] whole life."

Yes, that is the plan. Let's hope it works.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JMacHack Avatar
17 months ago

uploading nudies to iCloud has got to be the most moronic computer activity a person can do
Incorrect, giving out the password to your cloud-hosted nudies is more stupid.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iObama Avatar
17 months ago
"I had a family to support."

Wonder what they're gonna do now that you're in prison, *******.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
daved2424 Avatar
17 months ago
To all the smart alecs on here, not everyone is as tech savvy as you and I. It is an unfortunate fact that some people are easy targets. Victim blaming is not big and it’s not clever, no matter how “dumb” you think the victims are.

Chances are though, they have better interpersonal skills than the lot you and are quite likely just nicer human beings.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LukeDizzle Avatar
17 months ago
Link?

Asking for a friend
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Le Big Mac Avatar
17 months ago
At least 620,000 photos/videos of people having sex have been uploaded to iCloud? Come on people!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macos big sur ios 14 iphone 12 pro macbook air icloud drive desktop documents hero

Apple Merging 'iCloud Documents and Data' Service With iCloud Drive in May 2022

Tuesday May 11, 2021 2:36 am PDT by
Apple plans to merge its iCloud Documents and Data service with iCloud Drive starting in May of 2022, according to a support document published late last week (via MacGeneration). iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data share the fundamental ability to backup data from apps. However, iCloud Documents and Data was often a cumbersome, confusing experience. In contrast, iCloud Drive is more...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 With Face ID Mask Unlock, New Emoji, Universal Control, and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:45 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 come a month after the launch of iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1. The iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To...
icloud mail redesign

Web-Based iCloud Mail Redesign, Hide My Email, and Custom Domain Features Now Live

Monday September 20, 2021 1:00 pm PDT by
Alongside the launch of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8, Apple has also pushed an update for its iCloud.com website, introducing a new look for iCloud Mail that's viewed on the web. The new web-based iCloud Mail design looks similar to the Mail apps on devices running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the beta version of macOS Monterey. It is a cleaner and more streamlined look than the prior ...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Says iOS 15.2 Bug Turning Off iCloud Private Relay for Some Users

Tuesday January 11, 2022 12:02 pm PST by
T-Mobile has not disabled iCloud Private Relay for its subscribers, in contrast to recent reports suggesting the carrier was preventing iPhone users from enabling the feature. In a statement to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, T-Mobile said that iOS 15.2 device settings that default to the feature being toggled off, and that Apple has been contacted. T-Mobile explicitly says that iCloud relay has...
icloud private relay unavailable

iCloud Private Relay Down for Some Users

Wednesday November 3, 2021 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple's iCloud Private Relay option is not working for some users, according to Apple's System Status page. The feature is experiencing an outage and is unavailable at the current time. According to Apple, the outage started at 11:40 a.m. Pacific Time and it is ongoing. Those who are having iCloud Private Relay issues may have received a notification letting them know that the feature is...
custom email domain mail ios 15 4

iOS 15.4 Beta Adds Support for Setting Up Custom Email Domains With iCloud Mail

Thursday January 27, 2022 5:25 pm PST by
The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today expands support for the custom email domain feature available for iCloud+, adding an option to set up a custom domain with iCloud Mail directly on the iPhone. If you go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud, "iCloud Mail" is now a tappable option and it includes a section for setting up a Custom Email Domain. Prior to now, custom domains were able to...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Will No Longer Save Passwords Without Usernames in iOS 15.4

Wednesday February 16, 2022 10:06 am PST by
In the iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS Monterey 12.3 betas, Apple has added a minor quality of life improvement to the way Safari saves passwords. At the current time, Safari will gladly save a password without a username, which can lead to confusion later, but that's no longer the case in the beta updates. When you are prompted to save a password to iCloud Keychain in iOS 15.4, iPadOS...

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...