TIME Security

Apple to Strengthen Security After iCloud Nude Celebrity Photos Leak

2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter
Jon Kopaloff—FilmMagic Jennifer Lawrence attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter in West Hollywood, Calif., on March 2, 2014

Apple has revealed plans to strengthen the security of its iCloud service in response to last week’s leak of celebrity nude photos, although CEO Tim Cook denies the company’s servers were to blame.

Cook told the Wall Street Journal in his first interview since the scandal broke that users will now be notified via email whenever someone tries to restore iCloud data to a new device, in addition to notifications when an account password is changed or an unknown device is used to log into an account.

Apple will also use “two–factor” authentication on a wider scale, which asks for two of three things: a password, an access key provided when one first signs up for the service, or a separate onetime code.

A host of iCloud accounts were targeted and hacked last week, with private photographs from a range of celebrities including actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton subsequently released online. However, Cook told the Journal that the hackers most likely provided correct answers to the security questions asked when one forgets a password, or were victims of a phishing scam.

He also stressed the need to make users more aware about the threats posed by hackers. “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. “I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That’s not really an engineering thing.”


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