iCloud flaw blamed for Jennifer Lawrence, other celebs nude photo leak

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(PIX11) -- As celebrities threaten legal action over the release of hacked nude photos Sunday night, the investigation into how this happened is just beginning.

According to Steven Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, “These people were targeted. This was not a random attack.”

Bellovin, an internet security and privacy expert, said it’s possible a hacker or hackers took advantage of a newly reported flaw in Apple’s iCloud “Find My iphone” feature, leaving passwords vulnerable.

“Most of the time with the iCloud you can only get a limited number of guesses with your password and then it will lock out the account for awhile,” he said. “You use the ‘Find My iPhone’ version, it didn’t lock you out after five tries.”

Dozens of nude pictures of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, were leaked on the website 4chan Sunday. Representatives for both women have confirmed the pictures are real and they plan to go after whoever did this.

The technology website engadget.com reported Apple has fixed the problem. But this has left people like New Yorker Joe Portolese believing this technology is not yet perfected.

“I do not use the iCloud. I keep everything on a local computer backed up,” Portolese said.

According to Professor Bellovin, there are ways to make your private moments more secure. He said to use “…two-factor authentication if it’s available. Don’t reuse passwords, use password manager because there is no other way that you have a lot of strong passwords.”

PIX11 News reached out to Apple for comment on the reported iCloud flaw and fix. Tech sites have reported an Apple spokesperson said the company takes user privacy very seriously and they are investigating.

As for the celebrities dealing with this, some are threatening legal action while others say their leaked photos are fake.



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