Apple’s iCloud has fallen victim to a cyberattack. As part of a phishing attack, a fraudster gained access to thousands of user accounts. The person, disguised as an Apple support employee, is said to have collected over 600,000 photos in the process.
The target was nude photos
A man from Los Angeles, USA, is behind the phishing attack. But how did he come to collect the images? As it has since turned out, he was specifically looking for nude pictures of women. Using two different G-mail accounts, he contacted Apple customers and collected access data in good old phishing fashion. In addition to the account name “applebackupicloud”, he also used the name “backupagenticloud”. He used both accounts to impersonate an Apple support employee and obtain access data.
A rich booty
According to his own statements, the 40-year-old US American offered the collection of photos as a kind of service for third parties. Thus, he has taken requests from interested parties who specifically wanted pictures of certain people. He claims to have hacked a total of 200 iCloud accounts in the form of processed orders. All in all, 300 people are said to have been affected by the hack, according to the accused.
If we take a look at the accusations made in court by the FBI, we see a much worse picture. The perpetrator is said to have saved a total of more than 500,000 emails from his phishing attacks. On top of that, 4,700 responses in the form of access data were found. Another account at Dropbox is said to have brought summa summarum 9,000 videos and 620,000 videos to light.
Not an isolated incident
The incident that has now become known was already some time ago. Investigators are said to have become aware of the hacked iCloud accounts back in 2018. After coming across nude photos of celebrities on websites with pornographic content, the prosecution began. The IP address was then used to track down the perpetrator. As shocking as this case may seem to some, it is sad to see that such action has become a popular method among cyber criminals. However, incidents of comparable magnitude have been taking place for some time now. For example, the incident known as “The Fappening” was widely reported in the press. In 2014, many nude photos of celebrities were leaked.
Affected were, for example, acting greats like Jennifer Lawrence, who still suffers from the incident today. The data security of Apple and especially the iCloud also came under criticism in the course of such attacks. In the course of this, the iPhone inventor had improved the protective mechanisms of the convenient in-house cloud solution. Apple itself regularly emphasizes that users should use the option of two-factor authentication to create the greatest possible security. In the meantime, 85 percent of users follow this advice. It is still unclear whether or not such accounts are also affected by the attack that has now become known.