Monday, September 1, 2014

iCloud Hack unveils celebrity nude photos and sex videos?

It's a tough day to be a celebrity. Though continuously exposed to the public eye, now they have to face exposing more than they hoped for, with a hacker claiming to have hacked Apple's iCloud and publishing nude photos and sex videos of several high profile celebrities, like Jennifer Lawrence, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Kirsten Dunst.

There's still a lot going on, and it's not exactly clear if there really is a iCloud vulnerability or if the hacker used other attack vectors, like phishing or other techniques to gain access to their photos. Also, although some celebrities have confirmed the photos to be real, others claim they're fake; and some even go as far as saying those are deleted photos - and they have no idea how/where someone could have found them.

... It certainly will make everyone think twice about how and where they store their photos, because no online service can be 100% safe (even your local computer can be hacked, if you're considering it). But it will be useful to know what was the method that allowed this massive celebrity "leak" - which becomes even weirder considering the recent comedy "Sex Tape" was precisely about unwittingly sharing a private sex video with lots of people.

The truth is most users may not even realize to how many services each and every photo they take is being sent to: iCloud, Google+, OneDrive, Dropbox, Flickr, Facebook... they all want to keep our photos safe; and in the process, it means that, should anyone gain access to any of those services... they can have it all. Maybe this incident will make a case for adding a new setting to photos, just like "flash on/off", that will make a photo "private" or not.

Or, maybe we're all wrong, and privacy is really an illusion we better grow out of, and assume everything we do is public for everyone who wants to watch. Would that make things simpler?

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