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Apple iCloud Hacking Essay Example

When people deal with the field of technology, Apple tops the list of the most famous companies. It occurs due to its wide range of the best products. The company was started in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Helft & Carter, 2011). The two young men were college dropouts and perceived as outcasts in any company. However, these two men were focused on meeting their goals. They developed the first model of Apple inside a garage. Unlike other expensive products, the owners initially sold their products by word of mouth. They made a model which was taken to a computer store. The store ordered fifty of their products. Jobs and Wozniak strategized on how to produce the parts and delivered the fifty machines, marking the start of the company. The knowledge was passed later to the rest of the world through their various products. In the nineties, the company developed products such as Apple brand, Power Mac and Macintosh computers. In order to maintain their position, the company created Apple iPod in 2001 (Helft & Carter, 2011). Many companies have tried to offer similar products but none has met the standards of the iPod. iMac was also a hit. Through their innovation, more people have been attracted to their products.

Can Apple iCloud Servers Get Hacked?

iCloud is a service that uses cloud to store information and do computation provided by Apple Inc. Such service appeared in 2011. Before then, it was branded iTools, Mac and MobileMe. Data that can be stored includes iOS and music applications. It can be done on remote computer servers and downloaded by multiple devices, such as the phones and the computers. The service requires iOS device that runs an iOS 5, at least an iMac that runs an OS X Lion v10.7.5. By 2013, the service had more than 320 million users. It has replaced the Apple’s MobileMe service. iCloud works as a data syncing place for all contacts, calendars, bookmarks, photos, emails, documents reminders and notes. Users can wirelessly back up their devices to the system instead of manually doing it. They can easily share the backed up information with their family members and friends instantly by connecting accounts through airdrop wireless.

iCloud changed its name from MobileMe in 2008. It was announced on 6th June 2011 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. MobileMe was discontinued after 30th June 2012. Anyone who had an account with it had to create another one with iCloud, free of charge before that date. It displeased some of the Apple’s customers. They filed a lawsuit against the transition from MobileMe to iCloud in early May 2012. Third party developers have had problems with Apple due to bugs. It has made some features unusable. Features such as Core Data are almost unusable due to bugs which can be eliminated. Apple Company has also faced charges from iCloud Communication for infringement of trademark that occurred was shortly after the announcement of iCloud services. The lawsuit demanded that Apple should stop using the name of iCloud and compensate the unspecified pecuniary damages. The name was, however, changed to Clear Digital Communications in 2011. The lawsuit against Apple was thereafter finished.

The encryption of the iCloud data is stored by the Apple servers and the company keeps the master key to decrypt if need arises. Some hackers had gained access to the main key and exploited the services of the iCloud to the members. These hackers exploited the privacy of many celebrities including Kate Upton, Arianna Grande and Jeniffer Lawrence. The iCloud blamed Apple for apparently leaking private and nude photos of celebrities. The claim has been harshly denied by Apple stating that the celebrities were targeted by some phishers.

Thus, security measures are to be implemented. They include increasing the awareness of the two-factor authentication process. Security experts on Monday stated that people trying to use iCloud are at risk of being targets of attackers. It reported that the attackers seek to steal passwords of users and spy on them. According to New York Times (21st October 2014) as the Chinese were signing into the iCloud using their iPhone 6, they were actually giving off their details to a third party. The vulnerability of the customers has heightened after the introduction of the iPhone 6 into the market. The Chinese government is, however, under attack, since it is the sole keeper of the servers. Other web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the Apple’s Safari have warned against the encryption certificate. Such certificate is supposed to identify the person at the other end. Therefore, it opens a line of communication with the third parties.

The thesis of the proposal is that Apple should not be blamed for leakage of personal information to the third parties, since Apple is the present top secured technology company (Bradley, 2014). Users need to be more secured and choose passwords wisely to help eliminate such incidences. Users should pay attention to and listen to every set up they receive from Apple and their third party email connected to the iCloud. If people take the necessary precautions then such occurrences would be rare.

Celebrities Who got Victimized

Jennifer Lawrence, among other 100 celebrities, filed a $100m lawsuit against iCloud for exposing her nude pictures (Woollaston, 4014). Lawyers acting on their behalf filed the case against iCloud. Their accounts were apparently hacked by unknown attackers. iCloud is said to have made millions from victimizing the women. The service provider had to remove the images from the media but failed to act expeditiously. Marty Singer, the lawyer, wrote to iCloud regarding them allowing such unethical character to go on in their sites. The service providers were accused of accommodating, perpetuating and facilitating the data. iCloud is working together with FBI to trace the groups responsible for the leaks. Such action seeks to arrest the people behind the underground trade of the photos.

Arianna Grande is also another victim of nude photos being shared in the Internet (Epstein, 2014). She, however, denied the originality of photos saying that they were photo shopped. It has brought out outbursts of female celebrities over the nude photos being shared in public. They claim they have no privacy in their lives in as much as they are public figures (Woollaston, 2014). Arianna has become one of the celebrities whose photos are earning millions for the Internet under trade.
Kate Upton nude photos had been exposed to the Internet, as well. The website by the name of Celeb Jihad is said to be behind the photo shopping. The web providers are to face charges for knowingly exposing a person without her knowing. Though the photos are said to be fake, the legal team of the sports illustrated are hearing none of it. Kate is backed up by female celebrities who have fallen victims. In as much as the world is proud to see the photos, they feel infringed of their rights to privacy by the so-called attackers. Together as a team, they have decided to sue the service provider as a means to end with such scam.

Reasons for Using 3rd Party Emails

There are various reasons why 3rd party emails are on the rise. Among them: improved speeds, less development requirements, bypass web censorship, parental controls and protection of phishing, access to geo-blocked content, security features and lower cost and reliability improvements. Third parties reduce the cost of maintaining the software. It is done by reducing the cost of administration through the application of pay as you go (PAYG). They have automated documents generated like referral documents, accounting forms and other standard documents. It reduces the process through which information is handled. The application of complicated alerts and note systems reduces the cost of running the software.

Moreover, third party emails require low hardware, which still offers great stability and reduced cost of maintenance. They also employ the use of automated responses, which are less complicated and, therefore, little human labor is required. Since they are less developed, they require little knowledge on the technology. It attracts more of the less privileged and the conservatives. Administrators of such third party emails manage their given responsibilities in an easier way.

Threats for Using 3rd Party Emails

Most of the customers who go for third party emails are vulnerable security wise. It occurs due to the fact that such third parties are linked to libraries which are not fully maintained and constantly reviewed as per the security laws. It is essential that the security laws are adhered to, in order to solve issues as they arise. Such issues can remain unnoticed if appropriate measures are not taken. Later, the attackers can use the loopholes to target specific individuals. Third parties are mostly used by the attackers who gain access to the loopholes. Therefore, the public are at risk of privacy infringement. There is a need to alert the public of any updates being done. Making such notifications is complicated at times; thus, not all third parties manage to make such arrangements. In many cases, the service providers lack the resources to consistently take care of any security challenges as they occur. In spite of all deployment methods used, third party software always runs a security risk. It is caused by the fact that security deals with the third party and not with the deployment method. In order to curb attackers, third parties need to be highly secured and of high quality. The procurement should also be risk free though it is hard to ascertain in most cases.

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Arguments for iCloud

The case of nude photos of celebrities being leaked into the Internet is not a problem of the Apple Company. It is an attack on individual accounts. After carrying out investigations, the engineering team came to the conclusion that none of the cases was a result of a breach on the side of Apple (Bradley, 2014). There are various ways through which hackers can gain access to the account. Among them is the ‘brute force’. Through such mode, the attackers use advanced technology to gain access to the accounts. All users have been advised to use a strong password together with the two-step verification. Some people compromise their accounts by giving away their passwords (Fung, 2014). It allows unknown people to have access to their account. Chinese authorities are campaigning against users of the iCloud. They achieve their goals by stealing their log-in information (Wakabayashi, 2014a). Unlike previous attacks on other browsers like Google, Apple provides full information of the user. It has made the iCloud users easy accessible to the attackers. Security also deals with the third party but not with the deployment method. It implies that no matter what mode of the information storage is used, security must be maintained by the users.

Other web browser providers have experienced the same incidences long before celebrities’ photos were revealed to the public (Helft & Carter, 2011). Hackers gain access to different information by using methods, such as ‘brute force’ method. BlackBerrys, Windows phones and many other companies have also had similar experiences. Third party emails have attracted all kinds of people due to its affordability and available technology. The service providers have cautioned the public against using easy passwords. Instead, they have advised the public to enable the two-way verification. In some states like China, the government must have full access to the servers. The servers in China are, therefore, within government control. In this way, other third parties have access to the personal information that would otherwise be secret. It complicates using of security measures on the service providers.

Arguments against iCloud

The Apple Company defends itself by stating that none of its systems have been breached (Wakabayashi, 2014c). They stated that the hackers could use the ̔brute force̕ to gain access to the accounts. If it is true, then Apple may not be the best company in terms of technology. If the attackers could gain access using a better technology, then it implies that there is a superior technology to the one offered by Apple. Apple stated that the attackers could gain access to accounts with weak passwords (Wakabayashi, 2014b). Their defense lay squarely on the users. However, the public has to know how the company is ready and willing to prevent such incidences. Besides, it should be admitted that iCloud is easily accessed. The access can be done through the accounts in the Apple’s services. The last four digits of a credit card number and the billing address are the only things needed by a hacker to gain access to any account. By gaining access to the account, an attacker can easily gain access to the iCloud account. The four digits that Apple considers very significant are openly laid in the web by other companies, such as Amazon. In such case, all the data is easily accessed as one connection leads to another. It exposes flaws in the data management policies of the iCloud.

Apple should use its own email service for the Cloud. By closing down some domains without the correct procedures, Apple is getting away with the DNS records for the domains. It is in a bid to maintain the main servers. By accepting to use the iCloud, the users were forced to have many accounts just to keep up with the system. It has disadvantaged the users as such accounts from different browsers have different security policies, some of which are detrimental to them. It is possible due to the presence of bugs which has made some features unusable. Features such as Core Data are almost unusable due to bugs which, therefore, can be eliminated.

Solution

Users ought to follow security instructions. Whenever there are updates, there is a need to update the account to fit the prevailing security. For instance, the passwords should be strong enough so that the hackers could not access the account. Users need to log-in to their iCloud using browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome. Thus, there is a need for continuous changing of passwords. Passwords can also be strengthened by including numbers, specials features and using capital letters. A strong password is hard to break.

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There are advanced verifications that the users should apply. The two step verification allows the user to enter the password and confirm it through a link sent to the phone or through the email address. In case the account is hacked, the user is made aware of making necessary changes. Enabling such verification ensures the full protection of the account even if the passwords are compromised. Such measure adds security as the username and password cannot be identified by the hackers. They must also have an access to the phone to break the account.
Another advanced verification is the mobile verification applied from Google (Gmail). In order to gain access to the account, a short message or a call is made through the phone by the administrator to identify the person. It is done before the action in the control panel is completed. It can also be done to limit the number of accounts held by a person. Through such form, it will be very difficult for a hacker to gain access to personal information.

Apple is still processing the problem of helping people be more secure (Woollaston, 2014). The Chinese attack occurred at the time of the iPhone 6 release into the market (New York Times, 2014). The phone has a new encryption ability which compromises security of personal information. The company ought to develop better encryption to decrypt any passwords that have been leaked into the public. In addition to this, the company can invent other encryptions that can further prevent snooping of the security bodies into the user information without compromising the privacy. iCloud needs different security actions. For instant, security mechanisms can be based on the password. Some passwords cannot be cracked and reset without warning to the user through other means.

Apple tops in the field of technology as the company that offers best products. Started in 1976 by college friends, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the company has survived a significant grown. By the nineties, the company that was established in a garage developed products such as Apple brand, Power Mac and Macintosh computers. In order to maintain its position, the company created Apple iPod in 2001. Many companies have tried to compete with Apple by introducing similar products but none has met the standards of the iPod. However, just like many other companies, Apple Inc. has also faced specific security challenges. It designed its iCloud to enable the customers to store data, such as, for example, music and iOS applications. iCloud works as a data syncing place for all calendars, contacts, bookmarks, emails, documents reminders, photos and notes but it is at risk of being attacked of hackers. The attackers intend to steal passwords of users and spy on them. Other web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the Apple’s Safari have warned their users against the encryption certificate.

Thus, companies must take measures to ensure the security of their customers. Equally, users ought to follow security instructions, for instance, by strengthening the passwords (Rogowsky, 2014). It is done by including numbers, specials features and using capital letters. There are advanced verifications that the users should apply, as well. First is the two step verification, which allows the user entering the password and confirming it through a link sent to the phone or through the email address. Such measure help improve security as the username and password cannot be easily identified by the hackers. Mobile verification should also be excised. Apple is still processing the problem of helping people be more secure. It is expected that the company will develop better encryption to decrypt any passwords that have been leaked into the public. In addition to this, the company can invent other encryption that can further prevent snooping of the security bodies into the user information without compromising the privacy.

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