Sample Case Study on Effects of Social Networks on Apple Computers

Effects of social networks on Apple Computers

The tremendous development in technology has given human beings ability to perform various tasks that they could not do before. Individuals are able to connect, chart and speak with one another over the internet. They are able to store important documents, videos and picture on the same platform assisted by technological improvements. A person only needs to have an account and is able to do all these activities by clicking just a few buttons. Every person can create these accounts on yahoo, Google and lately on iCloud using Apple assisted electronics.

However, these ease of sharing, storing personal information on social networks have consequences. Some people have had their accounts hacked into and important and private information leaked to the public. This is the latest scenario at Apple Computers. The company suffered seriously when iCloud accounts of selected celebrities were hacked into by malicious people or an individual who had ill intensions. This paper is, therefore, an investigation into how this malevolent activity has affected Apple Computers. The article looks at how the act might have occurred, means used by the hacker to access Hollywood actresses’’ iCloud accounts and how these and other people may protect their accounts from such spiteful acts. The paper also investigate steps that the firm has taken to resolve the problem or what they intend to do to curb occurrences of such hateful actions in the future on their customers’ accounts.

Apple Computers

Apple computers, is a company that is known to be the leader in producing the best electronic devices. The firm deals in a range of products which include computers, mobile phones, iPhone, iPad. It also has social sites such iCloud and iTunes for music. This organization is known to specialize in some of the most high quality merchandise in the world of electronics. It was founded by Steve Jobs and is headquartered in Silicon Valley. The products of the firm goes by the slogan “the staff just works”.

Despite the superiority of their electronics, the business underwent a recent technological attack in the early days of September 2010. News has it that a highly targeted attack occurred in the iCloud accounts of some of their most valued customers. Most of these clients like other apple customers use their iCloud accounts for social activities such as storing pictures, some of which are very private and should not be available to the public.

The piece of news states further that this is one of the most erroneous incidents of the year. It further states that the company has since distanced itself from the issue and stated that they are not to blame.  The management has vividly stated that the problem is not with the firm but has occurred due to failure in the parts of the customers to use their two fold security feature to protect their iCloud accounts from hackers. The officials explained that the breach did not occur as a result of a violation in any of Apple accounts, including iCloud. They, however, explain that they will investigate the issue and ensure that it does not happen again in the future. The firm has also promised to protect all their clients’ accounts from future attacks of the same nature.

Hollywood Actresses’ iCloud Accounts Breached

An article published on the third of September 2014 has revealed that Apple Computers have suffered one of the most embarrassing attacks of the year. The report indicates that iCloud accounts of some celebrities were accessed without their permission and their nude photos leaked to the public. Further information show that the hateful attacker is threatening to avail even more illicit photos, some of which are true and others incorrect to the public.

Reisinger (2014) stated that the breached occurred after some popular celebrities uploaded their private photos  and sensitive personal information from other computer devices to their iCloud accounts. Once such information was out to the public, they obviously were interested attackers who wanted to get the photos and personal data out to the public. They therefore launched an attack on such accounts. The report shows that the breach might have been carried out by either one or a group of hackers. They are believed to have been planning this vendetta for weeks and only aimed at getting nude pictures of these celebrities (Reisinger, 2014).

These malicious individuals planned to illegally access these accounts using password, user names and security questions for each account. iCloud social site has been blamed for its inability to limit logging in information for all its accounts. For example, research shows that the service grants unlimited trials for password and user name. Thus, it does not specify a user name and password trial times (Grant, 2014). This makes it possible for an individual who is interested in any hacking into any account can try as many user names and passwords as possible on the same account till he or she succeeds. It is also easy for such people to know security questions on these accounts since the celebrities’ lifestyles are always in public. Answers until they get it right.

There lives are therefore an open book meaning everybody around the world if not in America know personal information such as the name of their pets, their birth dates, the people they have dated, wedding date and anniversaries. Since the security questions are readily available and similar to all iCloud accounts, they can guess all the possible answers till they get the right one. The hacker guessed the user name of the hundreds of celebrities based on the first and sir names (Grant, 2014). He is said to have obtained the password using known popular celebrity public information.

An article posted by BBC News has revealed that the hacker published photos of some celebrities who had actually deleted them from the iCloud accounts months before the attack took place. They also report that an actress had complained earlier during an interview that their clod accounts do not offer much security to the information stored there in. she continued to state that the accounts gives unlimited trials for passwords and usernames which makes the service very vulnerable to hacking (BBC, 2014).

This similar issue was resonated by many other celebrities and iCloud account holder. In fact, some of the actresses whose pictures were leaked to the public said that they has removed or deleted the photos yeare earlier. Grant, a news week writer reported that the attacker shared these explicit pictures of the affected individuals on another social site called 4chan. This site is apparently known for being notorious in sharing unwanted information from various people. It also has the ability to access other account with ease (BBC, 2014). The photos also reached other social sites such as Reddit, and twitter.

There is further information to corroborate the complaints of this actress. Most research has also shown that it is very easy to draw information form iCloud account users. This is true based on the fact that the iCloud service allows synchronization of data with other devices such as iPad, iPhone and marc.  This means that anybody who stores information in any of these three gadget can have them technically present in the iCloud account even without uploading them in person. The account easily makes it possible to leak this information onto pother devices which can then be shared by the rest of the world (BBC, 2014). Using a platform like 4chan just made the work much faster than expected.

On their part, Apple has denied any responsibility based on the failure of their products. They stated that the infringement of personal information occurred based on highly targeted attack on passwords, user names and security questions on the involved accounts (Reisinger, 2014). From this piece of information, it is clear that the company has suffered technological damages on its social site, Data storage. Many people are of the opinion that Apple did not put proper security features in place. While the company feels that they did their best and formulated the best two fold security feature that all their clients should use.

Other users of the same services have complained of similar incidences on their accounts. They too have agreed that the iCloud social accounts needs to be properly secured to avert such occurrences in the near future (Grant, 2014). Since Apple products are considered one of the most superior in the market, and they are also the most sort after gadgets, the firm should have a team of experts to work how to improve security issues of client accounts in order to protect their confidentiality as well as the documents stored in these accounts.

The company has encouraged it clients especially those owning iCloud services to use the two part security system to ensure the safety of their data. Secondly it is important for Apple to come up with a feature that should disable any data synchronization from the rest of its products to iCloud account. If this happens, just like it is neither the case nor, they then should come up with security pathway for preventing automatic data synchronization (Grant, 2014).

Actions taken by the company

In order to ensure the security of iCloud user accounts from the very beginning, Apple Inc managers came up with a two factor security setting detail that the users were to be apply on their private accounts. It is important to note that this feature only works if the person decided to use it because it is the individual who knows what it information he or she would want to use in securing their accounts. The double factored security feature requires the account holder to first enter a password of what she or he knows, followed by a second password of what she or he has (Reisinger, 2014). Using this feature on their accounts would have made it hard for the hacker to easily obtain access into these accounts.

A deeper look into the incident indicated that the actresses whose account were breached did not make the use of this factor that is available to them from the company. it is also vital for the actresses to know that when providing such information, they should try and use things that are least known to the public since their lives are less private (Grant, 2014). The official at Apple Inc also states that they want to come up with another security detail in which the account holder will be notified whenever they sign in to their accounts. This should be an automated feature that immediately alerts the individual that she or he has logged in to the account and is using iCloud service.

The company expect that this message will reach the user anytime he or she logs in, the feature should also tell the user the destination from which the log in has occurred. It will therefore be possible to tell if there is a breach into an account or not. For example, If n individual lives in New York and there are two simultaneous log in from two different states then it should sound an alarm (Grant, 2014). This is because it is impossible for one person to be available in two states at the same time. Secondly the security feature should also inform the account holder once the account is logged into meaning that the person should also take note of the frequency and raise concern to the company if this occurs too frequently. However, critics states that it will not be easy to do this especially since there are many people using iCloud accounts around the world. This might be beneficial to the few individuals living in America but what about those with accounts in the rest of the world (BBC, 2014).

 

The users of iCloud accounts may also try to come up with harder to hack passwords and user names. For example they might use names that are not obviously known to the public such as mix their names with names of inanimate objects (Grant, 2014). Their passwords should not contain obvious things such as their birth date, birth orders, name of their grandparents, popular places of visits and in the case of some Hollywood celebrities, the date they first won an Oscar award or films they have acted in. they should be smart about setting passwords and use mixed characters such as mix words with letters and other symbols found on the computer keypads. They might as well use abbreviated words as well as mix uppercase and lower case letters. Those using iCloud accounts should realize that Apple Inc just products might be superior but not a hundred percent perfect. It takes an individual to have their accounts secured, therefore they should take the full responsibilities of ensuring the safety of their accounts (Reisinger, 2014).

Conclusion

Social networks are important parts of organization. It can make or break the firm’s reputation. This incident at Apple is projected by some to have a repercussion on the sale of the upcoming release of iPhone6 while others believe it will not. A security breach or hacking clients account may also be an indication that the service offered by a firm is not functioning well and so they need to come up with effective measures of solving such issues. All users of social networks should also take the job of securing personal accounts from hacking by being smart while setting passwords and usernames. An individual does not need to have a degree or a PhD in order to have their accounts secured from malicious hackers they just need to be smart about it.

References

BBE News.com (2014). Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29039294

Grant, M. (2014). Hundreds of Intimate Celebrity Pictures Leaked Online Following Alleged iCloud Breach. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-intimate-celebrity-pictures-leaked-online-following-suspected-icloud-267851

 

Reisinger, D. (2014). iCloud Photo Thefts Put Apple, Cloud Data Storage in Cross Hairs. Retrieved from http://www.eweek.com/cloud/slideshows/icloud-photo-thefts-put-apple-cloud-data-storage-in-cross-hairs.html