Apple's iCloud is not as impregnable as we thought it was. The recent phone hacking scandal that rocked Hollywood has dented its reputation, some say beyond repair, and at the centre of the controversy is the security infrastructure of the tech giant. Compared to the other majors, including Microsoft, Sony, Facebook and even the almighty Google, which have had to deal with security breaches of some degree or the other in the past, Apple and its services have been like the ‘Moby Dick’ for the hacker community. Not any more, perhaps.
Apple has always justified charging a premium for its products and services as it claims to offer the best in class security. The timing of the celebrity hacking scandal could not have been worse as it has put the spotlight on Apple’s failure, right at the time of their most high profile launch since the original iPad.
CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal this week that Apple is stepping up its iCloud security by sending people alerts when attempts are made to change passwords, restore iCloud data to new devices, or when someone logs in from a new gadget.
The company still insists there was no breach of its cloud storage system and that the celebrities had their accounts hacked because their passwords were too easy to be guessed by hackers, or because they gave up their personal data to clever cybercriminals.
Apple has to do a lot more to ensure that their consumers’ faith is restored in the iCloud. Google Drive and Dropbox are alluring alternatives to Apple cloud storage service because they offer cross-platform compatibility (i.e. Android, Windows, MacOS and Linux). So Tim Cook and team have to do a lot more to do than simply blaming hackers and weak passwords.