Apple & FBI Investigating Mass Leak Of Stolen Nude Celebrity Photos

As you undoubtedly read about over the long weekend, numerous female celebrities’ mobile accounts were recently breached, and the extremely revealing results were posted online for all to see (And no, we’re not posting any links here). In addition to the personal embarrassment this invasion might have caused for the people in these images, it’s a black eye for Apple, who has a lot of explaining to do about the security of its iCloud storage.

It’s believed that the images were stolen by exploiting a glitch in Apple’s Find My iPhone service for people looking to track or shut down their lost devices. Normally, an iPhone user’s account would be locked out after a few failed password attempts, but the glitch allowed a remote hacker to run through multiple passwords until finding the one that unlocked the account. From there, it was apparently just a matter of grabbing the digital loot.

Apple isn’t saying much, other than issuing a statement that, “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

However, the Wall Street Journal notes that the original GitHub post describing the iCloud exploit was updated on Monday to read, “The end of fun, Apple have just patched.”

Meanwhile, the FBI tells the Associated Press that the agency is “aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter.”

Reps for some of the celebrities involved in this breach said the victims had removed photos from their phones long before and did not know that these photos still existed on iCloud, or that files were being automatically backed up in this way.

The auto-uploading of images to iCloud can be disabled by going to the settings menu on your iPhone or iPad, selecting “iCloud,” then the “Photos” option and switching off My Photo Stream and Photo Sharing.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.