iCloud hack a huge blow to Apple

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The massive theft of nude celebrity photos from iCloud has severely tarnished Apple’s reputation, according to media reports. Moreover, it could cast a dark cloud over the company’s big event on 9 September.

Next Tuesday, Apple is expected to launch the newest version of its iPhone. Some observers speculate that the company might also unveil another product such as the iWatch or the iWallet.

“Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if the hack is or is not Apple’s fault; the damage has been done,” says Stratechery Tech Analyst Ben Thompson.

“The iCloud name is associated with this mess, which is bad enough; what is more distressing is that Apple is allegedly unveiling a new payment capability with the iPhone 6. That, obviously, requires a high degree of security and consumer trust.”

The hack, which affected more than 100 American and British celebrities, could call into question the security abilities of Apple’s new gadgets and payment system.

Hackers were able to access the iCloud accounts of model Kate Upton, actresses Kirsten Dunst and Jennifer Lawrence, and other celebrities. The cyber criminals later posted the photos on 4chan.

According to Apple’s investigation, the iCloud accounts were breached via a targeted attack on passwords, user names, and security questions. It was not the result of any security flaw in iCloud or its Find my iPhone system.

The claim that iCloud was breached is unusual because Apple has very strong security in place. “They use 128-bit encryption and very powerful tools,” added Creative Strategies President Tim Bajaran.