Apple ramps up iCloud security after celebrity photo hack

Apple will introduce further security measures to its iCloud storage service, after hundreds of explicit images stolen from celebrity users were leaked online.

Apple: tightening up its iCloud security measures
Apple: tightening up its iCloud security measures

The company will now alert iCloud users whenever someone tries to change their account password, restore data stored on iCloud to a different device or logs into the account for the first time.

While Apple already notifies users of password changes or first-time logins, this is the first time it will send notifications about iCloud data. Users will receive both email and push notifications.

The changes will affect iPad, iPhone and Mac users.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, CEO Tim Cook admitted the firm could have done more to educate users about keeping their information safe.

When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece

He said: "When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece. I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That's not really an engineering thing."

Cook is in firefighting mode after an alleged 101 iCloud users had explicit images stolen and sold by hackers. Victims include celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Downton Abbey actress Jessica Findlay-Brown and model Kate Upton. 

Apple has already denied that security flaws were to blame for the theft, claiming that hackers had conducted "very targeted" attacks on passwords and user names. Apple and the FBI are currently investigating the incident.

Cook said the company would also push the use of two-factor authentication, a security measure that asks users to enter an additional piece of security information when logging in, such as a one-time code.

However, security experts have pointed out that Apple's two-factor authentication would not have protected the hack victims, since it doesn't currently cover iCloud.

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