Apple Cloud Burst - how tech writer Mat Honan lost his digital life
Gizmodo's Mat Honan hacked
Before anyone suggests that I'm posting this simply to knock Apple, let me first state that this was a hacker doing what hackers do best - interfering with digital security. It wouldn't matter if this were any other brand, once the hacker has done his damage.
Once the hacker gained access to Honan's iCloud account, he or she was able to reset his password, before sending the confirmation email to the trash. Since Honan's Gmail is linked to his .mac email address, the hacker was also able to reset his Gmail password by sending a password recovery email to his .mac address.
Minutes later, the hacker used iCloud to wipe Honan's iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air remotely. Since the hacker had access to his email accounts, it was effortless to access Honan's other online accounts such as Twitter.
In a blog post published at the weekend, Honan said he was playing with his daughter when his phone suddenly went dead and rebooted to the set-up screen.
"This was irritating, but I wasn't concerned. I assumed it was a software glitch. And, my phone automatically backs up every night. I just assumed it would be a pain in the ass, and nothing more," Honan wrote.
"I entered my iCloud login to restore, and it wasn't accepted. Again, I was irritated, but not alarmed."
He then fired up his Macbook to try to restore his data from a back-up, but an iCal message popped up saying his Gmail account information was wrong, and then the screen went blank, asking for a four-digit pin.
"By now, I knew something was very, very wrong. I walked to the hallway to grab my iPad from my work bag. It had been reset too. I couldn't turn on my computer, my iPad, or iPhone," Honan wrote.
The hacker eventually deleted Honan's Google account and he was unable to restore it as this required Google sending a text message to his phone, which was now offline.
That being said, Apple is the most stauch supporter of "cloud computing," where all your digital info is stored in some anonymous place on the web, and accessible via multiple devices. Post your daughter's picture on your "cloud," and you can look at from your iPhone; iPad; iMac - whatever. Neat idea in concept, but the current structure is wrought with insecurities.
Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has dire warnings about cloud computing.
So take this as a stern warning: don't put all you have into cloud computing, and manage your OWN data and backups. Don't let the web be your storage center.
I'd hazard to guess he p**sed off the wrong folks and they just decided to make his life miserable.
Yep, that's what I think as well.
Originally Posted by KF5FEI
Amazing that such a low tech attack can take out such a high tech target.
Originally Posted by KF5FEI
"The best number is 73. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror (37) is the 12th and its mirror (21) is the product of multiplying, 7 and 3. ... In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1001001 which backwards is 1001001."
-Dr. Sheldon Cooper, (Jim Parsons), "Big Bang Theory"
"Just to invite your attention to "73" in Morse code--also a palindrome."
Originally Posted by VA3CSS
On the Web and Anonymous, can not be used in the same sentence.
"cloud computing" is not anonymous and is a great spy system.
Good hackers are having fun playing with it.
The best is yet to come.
"Books tell how it should be, Experience tells how it really is,
Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don
I wish all the hackers and virus writers would unite.
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
And amazing that such a high tech target "allowed" himself to be taken out be a low tech attack. "Backup" is the key word, and "clouds" are ephemeral entities that can evaporate in an instant. Online storage as a sole method of backup is foolhardy, and fraught with danger. Whether through electrical glitch or hack attack, data can be lost, and the "cloud " will simply say "OOPS, so sorry." To me, the cloud isn't backup, although it may provide rapid access to frequently accessed data. But my sensitive data will stay on my computer ONLY, with frequent (and multiple) local backups. 0n multiple computers.
Originally Posted by K8MHZ
The "cloud" is a useful tool if you need to synchronize data between devices or temporarily back up a device so you can update or replace it and restore your data easily. However, it isn't a single solution for a day-to-day backup. The sad thing is I'm sure he was paying for extra space -- Apple doesn't give you much storage capacity for free.