By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a celebrity hack that’s making a lot of ordinary users of online storage sites plenty nervous. Nude pictures of a number of stars were reportedly stolen from their internet “cloud” accounts. We talked to a local internet security expert about what you should do.

Hackers say they swiped revealing pictures of Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence along with private photos of other celebrities like pop stars Rhianna and Selena Gomez. At first Apple’s iCloud was suspect, but late today the company released a statement saying, “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.”

The FBI is trying to figure out how the photos were stolen. “These systems can be vulnerable and if they are, things can be exposed,” says Lee Weiner, Senior Vice President of products and engineering at Rapid7, a Boston based internet security company. He says you need to be careful with storage sites even if you’re not a celebrity. “You should consider what you store online. Whether it’s pictures, whether it’s financial data, whether it’s private information about you that you don’t want anyone else getting,” he says.

Weiner’s best advice is to enable a two step verification process where typically a unique code is sent to your device to be used as part of your log-in. “It’s a little more work for the end user, but the benefit of that outweighs the work for sure,” says Weiner.

He also says to keep your password complicated, don’t use it with multiple services and if you’re an Apple customer, it’s a good idea to change your Apple ID.

“I think in general people should feel fairly safe, but as with anything there’s risk of using these services,” says Weiner.

Even though some of the celebrities whose photos were stolen are threatening to press charges, it’s very tough for authorities to catch and punish hackers.


David Wade


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