Nude pictures of a number of female celebrities have leaked online after allegedly being hacked from Apple’s iCloud service.
Already dubbed ‘the biggest celebrity hacking scandal in history’ the hackers apparently broke in to 101 iCloud accounts.
The photos include various Hollywood actresses such as Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence and Die Hard 4.0’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as well as pop stars such as Rihanna.
According to posts on 4Chan, the pictures were stolen from Apple’s iCloud Photo Stream service, which automatically shares iPhone pics with all of the user’s devices as well as storing them online.
Although there is no confirmation yet that the allegations are true, here are a few steps users can make to ensure their photos are safe, or not uploaded to the cloud in the first place.
“In order to make your private data more secure, you should cherry-pick the data you store in the cloud and know (and control) when the data is set to automatically leave your device,” explained Stefano Ortolani, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
“For instance, in iCloud there is a feature called "My Photo Stream" which uploads new photos to the cloud as soon as the device is connected to Wi-Fi; this is to keep photos synchronised across all your devices. Disabling this option might be a good starting point to be a bit more in control.”
Users can disable Photo Stream on any iOS device by going to Settings, iCloud, Photos and turn My Photo Stream off.
You can also disable Photo Stream on your Mac via System Preferences. If Photo Stream is turned off on all your devices, any automatically stored pictures from iCloud will be deleted.
Alternatively, if you still want to use iCloud, making sure you have a safe password is essential.
One final tip would be to not to take nude pictures of yourself...
iCloud isn’t the only application consumers are worried about. Kaspersky has also found that 49 per cent of internet users worldwide feel vulnerable while shopping online or making online transactions.
And 37 per cent have actually terminated a financial operation in the middle of the process because they were unsure about the security of the transaction
In other security news, Bitdefender has warned that Russian hackers have created ‘ingenious spam messages’ that help them deliver the Kelihos Trojan to those supporting an anti-Government cause.
A self-proclaimed hacker community from Russia has installed data-stealing malware on users’ machines by pretending the software was designed to attack Western governments and the US.