Corporate Social Responsibility / Technology

iCloud Hacked Once Again

icloud

In late October, Apple reached another security breach when its iCloud server in China had been compromised. The perpetrators gained unauthorized access to other users’ personal information, usernames and passwords.

Chinese users became concerned when prompted with a message that says the site is not trusted on iCloud.com. Zhou Shuguang, a computer activist says that the hacking was achieved through a man-in-the-middle tactic. This tactic is done by “a hacker placing himself between a client and a host to intercept network traffic; also called session hijacking” (Pearson 174). Users all over China with different Internet service providers were attacked.  To be capable of attacking such a mass amount of people, Erik Hjelmvik, an analyst at a network-security software vendor, says a huge hacking system needed to be set up.

GreatFire.org, an online censorship watchdog, believes the Chinese authorities are behind the attack. On the contrary, experts think if the Chinese government were to be the perpetrators, the attacks would be performed less obviously because the government has the resources to do so.

Apple responded to the attack by stating that it is aware of “intermittent organized network attacks” and additionally that users should not log into iCloud.com if they are prompted with a warning message. Apple also said “the attacks don’t compromise the company’s iCloud servers and don’t affect iCloud sign-in on Apple devices running it on iOS mobile software or Macs running OS X Yosemite using its Safari browser”(iCloud).

Apparently this is how Apple addressed the attack. I would think that Apple would spend the time and resources to ensure the software is fixed rather than just brush the issue under the rug. Apple’s management is taking a utilitarian approach to this problem. They are not backtracking to figure out who is responsible for the attack. Apple is looking at the net impact of the problem. The iCloud server has been compromised and they are warning the users of this. Additionally, China has had other similar security breaches in Microsoft and Google. Neither of the companies responded to comment on the issue. It seems that the FBI should be further investigating this issue in China and the allegations against the Chinese government.

Shira Gelman


Sources:

“ICloud Hit by Attack in China” The Wall Street Journal 22 Oct. 2014: B3. Print.

Pearson Custom Library. “Computer Fraud.” Accounting Information Systems. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions. Print.

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