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What can the celebrity iCloud hack teach us about online security?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

04 September 2014

Last week the internet lit up with the news (and views) of private images stolen from over 100 mostly female celebrities, including nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst.

Though the images, stolen from iCloud accounts over several months, had allegedly been in private circulation for some time, a 4chan user brought them into the public domain, requesting Bitcoin payments from those wishing to see them. The images were quickly and widely spread over the web, and attempts to suppress them failed miserably; the leak was even given its own name: The Fappening.

Whilst the FBI began an investigation into the data theft, many of the celebrities affected accused Apple’s iCloud security of being vulnerable. Apple, however, have claimed that no vulnerabilities exist in their security network, and that the hacks were, in fact, the result of a sustained and targeted attack on the passwords, names and security questions of those involved.

However, this still raises questions: is iCloud storage really secure? Can you ever trust cloud storage?

Whilst SurfEasy VPN creates an encryption tunnel between you and the internet, keeping both you and your devices safe and secure, once data is uploaded to the cloud, it is vulnerable to hackers and snoops. Even though iCloud is not a “public” space, it can be targeted–as has been shown by the awful invasion of privacy that these celebrities have faced.

SurfEasy VPN keeps you safe while you browse, and secures you whilst you connect to iCloud – but here are a few tips from us on how to keep your iCloud account itself safer:


  1. Use a two-step authentication with iCloud

  2. Use a secure password, and ensure that your connection to iCloud is always secured with SurfEasy VPN.

  3. Keep your nude selfies in a cardboard box or sock drawer next to your embarrassing pictures from high school rather than the cloud, just in case.


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