In the last 24 hours a number of female actors have fallen victim to a headline we’ve saw associated to a lot of characters in recent years. Only this time its perhaps one of the largest hacks of private information we’ve seen.
The route of the hack is to be believed a python script that enabled whats known as a “brute force” hack on the iCloud and Drop Box accounts of the celebrities its affected. It essentially randomly goes through potential passwords in quick succession, and Apple’s Find My iPhone service reportedly allowed an unlimited amount of guesses without the user coming into contact with robot detection software, something most [if not all] services have on them when logging into an account.
But whilst the security of these services can be put into question, one has to look at the ignorance of the people using the services, as the direct result of this mass release of some rather racy and pornographic images of some of our favourite movie stars.
Apple, Drop Box, all cloud computing services guide you through how your data is stored and what happens when you upload content to their drives once you’ve taken a photo or saved a document. In this case, it seems the hackers have taken images from various actors and personalties’ iCloud Photo Steam, which mainly sources its images from the built-in camera app in iOS.
The likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Victoria Justice, Kate Upton, they have all been the type of people who have tapped "accept" to everything because they can’t be bothered to read through the guide, or because they have let their handlers set up their device.
In an interview with MTV earlier this year, even Jennifer Lawrence herself criticised the way iCloud backs up data on the iPhone, saying: "My iCloud keeps telling me to back it [iPhone] up, and I’m like, I don’t know how to back you up. Do it yourself."
Her publicist, along with many others affected by the hack on Twitter then have the nerve to parade around saying “This is an invasion of privacy,” “To the people looking at these photos, I hope you’re happy with yourself.”
Yes it is an invasion of privacy, but you uploaded those images onto a public domain. Perhaps morally it doesn’t give us the right to view them, but technically we have every right to view them in the same way we have every right to view the images on your Instagram or Facebook accounts.
And by the way, saying the photos aren’t of you when clearly they are, makes you look like even more of an idiot and reflects badly on your fan base.
Frankly they would have been better not saying anything until they discussed the matter formally, but I guess that does allow more images to be leaked in the meantime.
Bottom line, don’t upload these type of images to the internet. We could go on about how hacking is bad and it should be stopped, but you have to remember these services are essentially in beta all the time. The people making these, are learning as they go along.
They’re going to be vulnerable to hacks, they’re going to be unsecure in areas. If you don’t want them to be out in the public domain, store them locally or as a hard copy. We’ve proved time and time again that the internet is like ink to paper. It’s not rocket science.
On a personal note, I’d like to discuss the future of my content production habits. As I’m sure many of you are aware today was A-Level results day, which for many is “judgement day” for further education. This was the case for me.
Whilst I’ve always condoned the UK’s educational system for effectively being a sorting hat for people who are academically sound versus those who are more vocationally applied, I still believe it is the right path for me to go down in order to learn the craft I need, in order to do what I want to do for a living, which is to be a Journalist.
I like writing about things, I like presenting things, I like being able to express a passion for something and offer a perspective that adds to “the conversation.” Having applied for a Journalism course at the University of Sheffield, they have rather kindly gave me the opportunity to study this very craft of being able to present a passion/topic in a very well informed, articulated, legal, and most importantly professional manner.
Like many university courses, this will be three years in the making - which is a long time by todays standards. As such I want to make sure that it is my complete focus. I want to feel comfortable that I am doing the best possible job at taking in everything I need to know, and applying it properly to achieve the best possible outcome.
Over the last two years I’ve had the luxury of being able to juggle the responsibilities of running a technology-centered news website, and a motorsport news website, all whilst studying for four A-Level subjects. At times I felt annoyed. Not because I was stressed, but because I felt as though I was missing things. Crucial elements in my coursework or significant pieces of news that would help shape a future report.
Running a technology news website isn’t easy. If you want to do it properly and ensure that you get the most out of what you are doing, it needs a lot of attention and commitment. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to serve over 1,000 people a week my articles on whatever news hits the technology industry, along with the engagement on Twitter and Reddit.
However I believe the only reason I have been able to get the feedback, is because of the amount of time I put into making sure I follow up on stories that I consider to be important. And for that reason, I have decided to stop any further commitments to bringing technology news to my readers over at http://voltmagonline.com.
I’ll still be producing my Formula 1 and motorsport content over at http://f1weekends.com, but I am afraid I cannot expect to put in as much effort as possible into university studies, whilst also making sure I produce the best possible content at Volt.
In many ways its a shame, because I never got to grow Volt into what I wanted it to be. It was supposed to be my idea for the next platform for news consumption, however cost constrains and other commitments stopped that from being able to be brought to fruition. But I still learned a lot from it, which I am truly grateful for.
Who knows, maybe it will still be something I revisit. I still own the domain and intend on keeping the website up for archive sake. But of course there will be no up-to-date content being posted there as of next week.
I guess now its onwards to the next stage. I hope - like me - those of you who got your A-Level results today got into your respective Universities on the courses you wanted.