Mat Honan, former Gizmodo writer now working for Wired, explains how hackers got into his iPhone, iBook, iPad, Twitter, Amazon and Gmail accounts using nothing more than social engineering mixed with security flaws on how Apple's customer service identifies a user.
[...] what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple's and Amazon's. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information -- a partial credit card number -- that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.
This isn't just my problem. Since Friday, Aug. 3, when hackers broke into my accounts, I've heard from other users who were compromised in the same way, at least one of whom was targeted by the same group.
Moreover, if your computers aren't already cloud-connected devices, they will be soon. Apple is working hard to get all of its customers to use iCloud. Google's entire operating system is cloud-based. And Windows 8, the most cloud-centric operating system yet, will hit desktops by the tens of millions in the coming year. My experience leads me to believe that cloud-based systems need fundamentally different security measures. Password-based security mechanisms -- which can be cracked, reset, and socially engineered -- no longer suffice in the era of cloud computing.
|Laptops Evicted from Lecture Halls|
|Forget Google -- it's Apple That is Turning into the Evil Empire|
|Research Group Uses Sonar for Computer Power Management|
|The Restart Page: Free, Unlimited Rebooting Experience from Vintage Operating Systems|
|Who Keeps Buying All These Floppy Disks?|
|“Like a gigantic version of something you’d find in Toys 'R' Us.”|
|“If that fly on the wall is actually a fly.”|
|“You trust Google more than any priest, scholar, rabbi, coach, mentor, boss.”|
|Building an AR-15 Rifle Using a 3D Printer|
|iotacons: Pixelated Art by Andy Rash|
|Will Powell Builds His Own Google Project Glass With Existing Technology|
|“China’s unmanned stores allow people to live their lives with almost zero human contact.”|
|Dutch Engineer Flies Using Custom-Built Bird Wings|
|Ubuntu 17.10 Artful "What the Fuck" Aardvark|
|Robots Make Another Victim: Sport Journalists|
|"The actual price for building a 'personal Google for everyone, everywhere' would in fact be zero privacy for everyone, everywhere."|
|The Stripe Button: a Ridiculously Easy Way to Pay for Stuff Online|