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Ryanne Lai

The whole world gives Android the cold shoulder when speaking of privacy and security. It’s often said viruses and attackers can get all over your phone and take all your information. It has been proven time after time that Apple’s hardware and software are far from being foolproof.

Last weekend was the perfect example of the misunderstanding revolving the tech community. Nude photographs of popular celebrities were posted all over the web, originally shared via 4Chan. This event was cleverly named as “The Fappening”, a day that will forever be remembered in the tech world.

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The hackers mention over 100 celebrities were affected, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kirsten Dunst, Selena Gomez and many others.

The trouble for celebrities is that much of their personal information is not so secret.

While no information is 100% confirmed, hackers mention these images were taken straight form the users’ iCloud accounts. For those without knowledge of iCloud, it’s Apple’s cloud service, which syncs your images and videos across Apple devices through your account.

Metadata does show most of these images were taken with Apple devices, but iOS seems to be the standard OS used by most celebrities.

iCloud

Experts believe this could have been due to poor password choices or a vulnerability in one of Apple’s services. Others, like Rik Ferguson, believe the hacker probably already knew the affected users’ iCloud-linked emails, then simply used the “I forgot my password link” and answered a security question (which are often public knowledge for celebrities).

These are all assumptions, of course. The main argument here is that this person(s) claim to have pulled the images out of iCloud. We don’t intend to blindly bash Apple and fanboy our way into an attack towards the iPhone maker.

We just want people to know the claims that Android is less secure than Apple are, in most cases, pure bogus. Every platform has its defects and vulnerabilities, just like its strengths. Hackers have many ways of reaching you, but you can make it insanely hard on them if you know your tech.

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Many users are not vey strict with their password standards, for example. There’s a list of about 500 most-used passwords in the world. Can we really not get more creative? Also, we must consider our cloud services’ nature and know how to use services.

We are learning far too slowly to take care of our online persona. For example, even if you’ve deleted an image from your smartphone, it’s still out there somewhere on the internet...

I wouldn’t upload private images to any of my cloud services. And if I did, I would make sure they are not reachable, especially if I was a celebrity. You can easily turn off auto-upload, which is an easy solution.

We also don’t want to turn around the blame and say these celebrities are responsible for this. Of course, this was an attack and no one should access your information (even if your passwords is “123456789”). All we are saying is: in a world were information is worth more than possessions, we need to learn how to protect our private data.

Meanwhile, Apple says it is actively working on this issue and some patches have even been implemented, making iCloud more secure.

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