Updated 07:36 PM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

Celebrity Photo Hacking Scandal: Apple says iCloud Not to Blame

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With its latest smartphone announcement on the horizon, Apple would no doubt like the attention to be on their next iteration of the iPhone. However, in the wake of last week's leaked celebrity photographs, the public focus has shifted to the safety of their online system, iCloud.

Last week intimate photographs of swimsuit model Kate Upton and actresses, Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst, surfaced online. Apple said the cause was an apparent targeted attack on the individuals' iCloud accounts. Upton, Lawrence and Dunst may only be the first to have their private lives aired as it is speculated that this hack may have also affected dozens of others.

Apple was quick to say that this attack was targeted at these individuals and not a result of a direct breach of Apple's online portals.

"We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet," Apple said in a statement. 

"None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find My iPhone."

Apple's iCloud is one of many "cloud" based storage options that allows users to store photos, videos, apps and other content in an online hub in order to access it from any Apple device. Since its inception, many have feared about the stability of cloud storage and its safety, but not enough for the service to go unused.  iCloud has been at the crux of Apple's latest technological enhancements and signs point to that continuing in the future.

While Apple claims to have no responsibility in the hack of these celebrities' private photos, the company cannot be enjoying this stretch of bad PR as it prepares to unveil a new iPhone on September 9th. This hack also served as a wake up call to many users of popular cloud services being provided by tech companies: in a world where all of our most personal data is archived online, nothing is truly private.

For her part Lawrence and her representatives have released a statement that describes the theft of the photographs to be a "flagrant violation of privacy," and contacted law enforcement authorities.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released a statement yesterday saying the agency is aware of the allegations "concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals."

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