With reports on Friday revealing that the iCloud account of former Gizmodo reporter Mat Honan had been hacked, it was discovered on Sunday that the hack was partly an upshot of "social engineering" by an Apple tech support employee.
About his iCloud account hack, journalist Honan said on his blog that the breach not only wiped out his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook remotely, but also apparently wreaked havoc on Gizmodo's Twitter feed.
Honan said it was after his iPhone rebooted to the default setup screen that he realized that there was something wrong with his device. And, when he tried to log in to iCloud for restoring his iPhone's earlier settings from his MacBook Air, an iCal error message showed up on the screen, which soon went gray and asked for a four-digit PIN.
Disclosing that he did not have a four-digit PIN, and that his iPad had also been reset, Honan said in his blog post: "By now, I knew something was very, very wrong. I couldn't turn on my computer, my iPad, or iPhone."
Initial reports about the incident said that the hijacking of Honan's iCloud account was probably a simple brute force attack on his seven-digit alphanumeric iCloud password that he had been using for "years and years."
However, after the process of reconfiguring accounts was completed, it was found that the hack was not because of any attack on Honan's iCloud password, but because of an Apple tech support employee's "social engineering" which apparently bypassed security questions.
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