Over the weekend a potential scary set of events occurred. Those you with your ears to the ground may have sensed some rumbling, but, it didn’t make major press until this morning. Former Gizmodo reporter, Mat Honan, had his iCloud account hacked. He discovered it when his iPhone rebooted back to the default setup screen for no apparent reason. Next, his MacBook’s screen went grey and asked for a 4-digit PIN shortly after showing an iCal error. He wrote the following on his blog:
“I didn’t have a four digit pin, by now, I knew something was very, very wrong. I walked to the hallway to grab my iPad from my work bag. It had been reset too. I couldn’t turn on my computer, my iPad, or iPhone.”
That was just the beginning. Afterwards his Google account got deleted, and the only way he could possibly get it back up and running was to get the information sent by text to his iPhone. Needless to say, that wasn’t an option. Then the worst possible event: the remote wipe. Whoever had hacked his account had started deleting everything from his Apple devices using the iCloud activated security wipe feature.
Originally, it had been thought that someone had managed to get his iCloud password. It had been the same for years, but was a difficult alphanumeric password, not easily guessed. Eventually it was gathered that the hacker had forced his way in to the blogger’s iCloud account by bypassing some security questions through Apple Support.
Thankfully, Apple is on the case and the user’s devices should be restored. And let’s hope Cupertino’s security team add some reinforcements to iCloud to make it more secure. Obviously this is a rare occurrence. But, one positive at least is that it helps our favorite tech company to find and fix serious issues.