Feeds

Apple, FBI: YES we're, er, looking into the NAKED CELEBRITY PICS. Aren't you?

But we will shut our eyes if we happen to see any

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple are examining the theft of a large cache of naked celebrity photos, thought by many to have been snaffled from the fruity firm's iCloud backup silos.

As El Reg reported yesterday, the photos depict Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and around 100 others are thought to have been stolen from Apple iCloud accounts.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement that it was aware of the hack of "high profile individuals" and was "addressing the matter", but said that "any further comment would be inappropriate".

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company was "actively investigating" the hacks.

Some speculation on the picture-pinching pirates' methods has supposed that the newly-released iBrute brute force password-guessing tool may have been used to break into the celebs' iCloud accounts.

The tool's authors hackappcom wrote that the tool used the Find My iPhone service API, which is not protected against brute force attacks. Attackers may have used a list of 500 popular passwords that meet Apple requirements.

But as Hackappcom pointed out the tool was published one day before the hack took place making the crime "very difficult" to pull off using the tool in such a tight timeframe.

"iBrute was published a day before the incident. It's very difficult to perform this kind of targeted attack in one day, so it's very unlikely that iBrute was used for this attack, but maybe some evil guys found the same bug and used it," the authors wrote in a post

"Anyway if your accounts were hacked by @hackappcom's method it also means that your passwords are crap [but] it is not your fault if you are using bad passwords because you are celebrities, not nerds."

As The Reg pointed out in May after an entity called "Oleg Pliss" harvested antipodean ithing credentials, Apple does not limit the number of password entry attempts users could can make when attempting to access their iCloud accounts.

Pliss or these new attackers could therefore have worked from a list of iCloud user names and set a script to brute force its way into Apple accounts.

Once Apple applied rate limiters, any "Oleg bot" would be hindered or, with a little more security smarts, struck dead.

El Reg has inquired about whether any brute force attempts against any affected celebrity account was detected in logs.

Other rumours suggest the nude photos may have been stolen from an existing cache of photos acquired over time by other hackers.

Security bod Dan Kaminsky guessed the photos may have been compiled from hacked computers and collected until a large cache was ready for release.

These theory were in part based on an examination of EXIF metadata contained in the photos that suggested many were taken in 2011, while others were captured as recently as last month. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.