Apple Inc. said intimate photos of celebrities including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence were leaked online after hackers were able to enter the victims’ individual iCloud accounts and not as a result of a direct breach of its systems, Reuters reported.
“We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the internet,” Apple said in a statement.
“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 technology giant is trying to restore confidence in its security after reports said the massive leakage of the celebrity pictures over the weekend was due to a breach in its security systems.
The hacking ranks among the highest-profile public fiascos for Apple in recent years, and comes at the worst time as the company is scheduled to launch its latest iPhone next week, according to the news agency.
Apple’s iCloud service allows users to store photos and other content and access it from any Apple device.
Cybersecurity experts say the perpetrators possibly acquired the celebrities’ email addresses and gained access to their accounts through phishing, or tricking them into clicking on compromised internet links, the report said.
The photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4Chan, prompting Lawrence’s representatives to describe their release as a “flagrant violation of privacy” and report the case to law enforcement agencies.
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