Are you using Apple iCloud to store your data? If so, be warned. Your iCloud account is not as secure as you think. Indeed, cloud computing is secure, but not that secure – “thanks” to cloud vendors’ procedures’ loopholes.
You see, people are not aware that everything “computing” means that there are always possibilities for hacks. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to secure our cloud account, things happen – smart hackers can always find loopholes (yes – there ARE loopholes in cloud computing, too!) to exploit. Too often, those loopholes were found… in the publicly available tools.
Just ask Mat Honan.
Honan’s iCloud account hacked – due to customer care flaws
Mat Honan is a Wired Magazine senior writer who has just had his Apple iCloud – and other accounts, as well – hacked, as reported by CNBC last week.
Mat has his private data stored in iCloud wiped out. According to CNBC, the hacks are due to security flaws found in Apple’s and Amazon’s customer service procedures. Due to those, a hacker has successfully breached Mat’s account and erased everything he has on Google account and Apple iCloud account.
According to MacWorld Australia, Mat Honan’s Mac, iPhone and iPad has their stored data erased. What’s worse, Mat’s Twitter account was also hacked, tweeting hateful comments. Also from the same source, Honan has confirmed that the hack was facilitated via AppleCare: The hacker has successfully convinced AppleCare support that he/she/they were Honan.
Darn scary. However, there’s a catch…
From the incident, we learned that although the cloud is technically very secure, there are loopholes creative hackers can exploit to breach any cloud-based accounts. Often, those loopholes are created by… the cloud vendors themselves.
In Honan’s case, Apple’s AppleCare customer support procedures have allowed a hacker to fake his/her/their identity to get credentials to Honan’s accounts.
But it takes two to tango, really. Sure, Apple is responsible to make sure this won’t happen again. However, as D’Arcy Norman pointed out, everyone having his/her data in the cloud should has a backup.
Hacks will always happen in one way or another – the best thing we can do is to have our data backed up. Don’t underestimate the importance of backups.