The spectacular hack of veteran technology writer Mat Honan's Apple iCloud account last week not only has black clouds looming over Apple's online service, but also serves as a reminder that even the so-described `digitally sophisticated' people can be fall prey to malicious hackers.
While it appears that the hackers' chief aim was to hack Honan's @mat Twitter account for broadcasting spam to his 15,000 followers, the hack first compromised Honan's iCloud account, the control of which subsequently allowed the hackers to recover the passwords for Honan's Google and Twitter accounts.
With the hackers apparently using Apple's Find My iPhone and Find My Mac services for remotely wiping Honan's iPhone, iPad and his MacBook Air, Honan told Wired that the hackers probably gained entry by calling up Apple's tech support, and used some clever "social engineering" that helped them evade the security questions.
With the high-profile hack of Honan's iCloud account pointing to a weakness in Apple's identity verification process, the problem possibly stems from an issue which was highlighted by experts while reporting about iTunes account hacks in March --- Apple customers are encouraged to use the same Apple ID and passwords for almost everything!
Pointing to the problem back im March, security expert Alex Stamos - co-founder of security firm called iSEC Partners - said: "Apple wants to pretend that everything is magic. They need to admit that their products can be used by bad people to do bad things."
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