IPHONE fans are wondering how to lock down their mobiles following news that a scammer stole thousands of intimate photos from iCloud accounts.
Hao Kuo Chi of La Puente, California, tricked users into handing over their Apple IDs and passwords on a sick hunt for nude images and videos.
How to lock down your iCloud
Apple's iCloud is the company's cloud storage service that, among other things, stockpiles all of the photos and videos taken on your Apple devices.
There are a number of ways to make it difficult for hackers to break into your iCloud account.
We'll start with the obvious: Use a strong password that is not easy to guess. It should contain a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols.
You should also avoid using an email and password combination that you se for other online accounts.
That combo may end up being exposed by an online leak that in turn leaves your iCloud account exposed.
The best way to lock down your iCloud, however, is by turning on two-factor authentication.
It protects your account by requiring an extra level of verification before logging in - on top of your password.
It means that if your password has been compromised (or guessed), your account will still be safe.
You can activate 2FA on your Apple ID - the account which contains user personal information and settings, and which you need for iCloud.
Once enabled, you'll be required to enter a special code sent via text or email, which you enter to log in in addition to your password.
iCloud scam explained
Hao Kuo Chi of La Puente, California, harvested hundreds of thousands of images and videos in a plot to steal and share nudes, federal authorities said.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of gaining unauthorised access to a protected computer.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 40-year-old admitted that he impersonated Apple staff in order to gain access to iCloud accounts.
To access the data stored on an account, users must log in using their Apple ID and password.
In court papers, Chi admitted to sending emails to victims posing as Apple staff in order to acquire their iCloud login credentials.
The scammer advertised himself online as someone who was able to break into and steal files from people's iCloud accounts.
"Customers" would pay him to retrieve nude photos and videos of targets, which he then shared online.
Chi used social engineering and phishing schemes to trick victims, and did not breach iCloud's security protections.
In total, he stole an estimated 620,000 photos of at least 306 victims across the United States, the majority of them young women, according to the FBI.
Federal officers found two Gmail addresses attached to the usernames Chi used during his scam: "applebackupicloud" and "backupagenticloud".
The accounts contained more than 500,000 emails and 4,700 iCloud IDs and passwords.
Chi's sinister scheme fell apart after he broke into the iCloud account of an unnamed public figure in 2018.
The photos later ended up on pornographic websites.
A log-in to the victim's iCloud account was found to have come from Chi's home by FBI investigators.
The ghoulish hacker now faces up to five years in prison for his crimes.
Google has warned of five major flaws in Chrome that could expose users of the popular web browser to hackers.
Google has announced that the latest major update to its Android operating system is available to download.
Facebook plans to change its company name as part of a rebrand expected to be announced in the coming days.
And, your Facebook profile has a hidden feature that can reveal if you're being targeted by hackers.
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