Apple Promises New iCloud Notifications As Part of ‘Human’ Security Measures

Ahead of the widely expected launch of the iPhone 6 tomorrow, Apple has moved to ease concerns surrounding the security of the iCloud with the promise of new notifications should there be a security breach.

Last week, nude images of a number of celebrities obtained from their iCloud accounts were posted online, but Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal there is no major security in the service and the issue was more of ‘human’ nature than an engineering problem.

Apple says hackers were able to gain access to the celebrities’ accounts either through phishing scams or by guessing passwords or the answers to their security questions – an easier task when so much information about a person is publicly available.

Apple iCloud security

Cook added that the company’s only regret was not informing users of the dangers of social engineering or the importance of creating stronger passwords. He suggested that much of Apple’s security attention will be focused on users rather than technology in the future, including new notifications and the wider use of two-factor authentication

Push notifications and emails are already sent if someone other than the account holder tries to change a password or log-in on a new device, but users will now also be notified should someone ret to restore the data. However it has been pointed out that this only takes affect after someone has attempted an attack.

The breaches have brought Apple’s security measures under the spotlight as the iPhone 6 could include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that would allow Apple users to make mobile payments using their devices. Cook denied the iCloud hack was a result of any ‘lax’ attitude towards security and pointed out the development of the TouchID fingerprint sensor technology as evidence of its commitment.

Earlier this year, the company admitted to the existence of a backdoor in iOS, which could allow a malicious attacker to gain access to personal information using pairing records. Apple claims the backdoor is for “debugging” purposes, but security researchers have disputed this.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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