Questions About the Cloud Abound After Celebrity Photos Hacked, FBI Investigates

Sep 02, 2014

Nude photos of about 20 celebrities appeared on 4chan over the weekend, and speculation quickly led to Apple's iCloud taking much of the blame. But Business Insider's James Cook is skeptical that anyone actually hacked Apple's encrypted iCloud. Instead, he thinks it is more likely that the thief used "social engineering" to gain access to the celebrities' accounts the old-fashioned way, by simply guessing their passwords.

Cook also points out that not all the photos came from Apple devices, and suggests that other cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive may be implicated as well. And Snapchat might have to take some blame here. "Several of the leaked celebrity photos had text overlaid, which indicates that at least some of the photographs were first sent through Snapchat," writes Cook. So those photos you thought would "disappear" aren't as safe as you thought.

A number of other possible scenarios are detailed in the Cook article, but the FBI and Apple are officially looking into the photo leak.