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Newsletter Issue #775: How Soon They Don’t Forget

The other day I read a hit piece about Apple’s alleged poor security. First and foremost on the list was the alleged hacking of iCloud accounts to acquire stashes of explicit celebrity photos. It didn’t matter that Apple reported that these intrusions weren’t the result of any fault with iCloud, but because Internet criminals got ahold of the usernames and passwords of the entertainers.

I suppose it is difficult for a celebrity to hide their online presence. They will want usernames that are easy to recognize, usually their own names. So you only need to make a good guess about their passwords, and here they need to be strongly advised that such basic choices as “1234” or “password” are non-starters. Apple’s iCloud Keychain can even suggest a secure password that is near-impossible to guess, except by repeated tries.

Apple has also added brute force protection, meaning you can’t just keep guessing before you are locked out, along with two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of protection. So you may be able to figure out the correct password, but the system will also send a keyword via email or to your mobile phone. Of course, if someone has your mobile phone, and you haven’t bricked it using Apple’s Find My iPhone feature, forget about privacy.

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