Did Apple Have A Security Breach…Again?21 May
In 2014 Apple was the subject of some scrutiny after a supposed security breach affected many of its iCloud users. Most notably the breach affected several celebrities whose nude or partially nude, and most certainly private, photos were stolen and released on the Internet. The breach brought up many questions regarding consumer safety and privacy when it comes to cloud storage services such as iCloud, and continued a broader conversation about cyber security in general.
Apple ultimately denied that the iCloud service as a whole was the subject of a breach and that a “very targeted attack” against certain celebrities was the culprit. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is certain. Apple’s iCloud still appears to be vulnerable.
Around 2AM this morning, May 21st, Apple reported a service issue with some of its iCloud services. The services included:
- Back To Mac
- Find My iPhone
- iCloud Drive
- iCloud Keychain
Wait…photos! Not again! While there does not appear to be any significant damage done, or a root cause yet known, the ears of many iCloud users perked up when the outage was reported.
Initially, Apple stated the services were just running slowly but still usable. However, several users reported via Twitter that iCloud was not only slow, but was down completely. The most user reports came in about Mail, likely one of the most used applications in the iCloud series.
At about 9:30AM Eastern Apple reported the service issue was resolved via its service status page. Starting around 2AM and ending half past nine results in approximately 7-8 hours of either downtime or partial service. This is not the best of news.
So, what does this tell us when one of the world’s largest and most profitable companies, who specialize in technology no less, can have issues such as these?
Well, what first comes to mind is a target. Apple has a huge target on its back. When you’re at the top, everyone is aiming right at you trying to take you down. Some of us want to believe that even companies like Apple are completely invincible when it comes to cyber security or a security breach despite recent events including this one. The sheer fact is no one is 100% safe from a cyber attack or possible downtime.
As a technological society we have come a long, long way in just a short time when it comes to protecting our valuable data. Expert companies that specialize in cyber security are our best assets when attempting to create the best protection, along with your own diligence. We have talked extensively about precautions you can take not only as an everyday consumer but as an executive, employee, manager, and more that can help put a squeeze on the possibility of a cyber attack.
We have also talked about the likelihood of being the subject of an attack. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, the chance still looms. While some are certainly at higher risk than others, kind of like an IRS audit, there is no certainty that it will never happen. Apple surely knows this, and will hopefully continue to take every precaution to make sure breaches are kept at a minimum. In fact, if you think about it, Apple probably fends of hundreds, thousands, or even more attacks each and every day.
Cyber criminals or hackers are constantly trying to find ways around Apple’s security protocols, and every once in a while they might be mildly successful. In the end, a few photos (scandalous or not) and limited access to email isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme, but we can all do better and continue to strive for a world where cyber attacks are thwarted before they begin.