What’s in a name…iCloud hacking and security

It is easy to look at the world from a dystopian point of view. We see terrorism quite often, uprisings around the world, the constant bickering between countries during times of solidarity. Across the board we see a sweeping invasion of privacy, corruption, embezzling and other blatant invasions of privacy.

labrynthine circuit board lines‘ by quapan, CC by 2.0

Recently, we have seen even the most notorious of people worrying about surveillance, with Mark Zuckerburg covering his microphone and webcam with tape to avoid people that may hack into his computer to be able to see or hear what he has to say. It is the scope of this image that has shown us laypeople that even the most prominent people fear for their own security.

There has been many cases of celebrity and high-profile hacking attempts, such as ‘the Fappening’ was where celebrities iCloud accounts were hacked, and many naked or scandalous photos were leaked of female celebrities. Another high profile hacking was the email hacking of Sony after the release of the motion picture ‘The Interview’, as well as the Ashley Madison hacking and releasing of sensitive data. These were all gross invasions of privacy, and some of even basic human rights.


These seemingly ‘random’ attacks on celebrities and laypeople are those which have scarred people and ruined their reputation. Attacks happen on just a small scale, with personal webcams or computers being hacked remotely, which in itself is scary.

I believe what is quite frightening is when trusted information that is provided to a service (such as iCloud) can be hacked, and the potential ramifications for your information to be leaked by an anonymous source can yield potentially devastating consequences.

In 2015, Tivey et. Al. analyses how safe the cloud really is, with the initial expansion from personal data backing up to companies moving entire data bases to the ‘virtual’ cloud. This means the cloud is a form of outsourcing as the IT environment is ‘rented’. Some benefits of the cloud include increased flexibility, availability of software, reduced infrastructure costs, and reduced internal IT staff costs.

DSC_4149_pp‘ by Walter. CC by 2.0

This transformation however can lead to high-profile data breaches, with hacks occurring much more frequently than those in other services such as online banking. The difference is phishing scams and spear-phishing scams (where users are tricked into giving up their passwords), where people are more cautious to give up their unique banking passwords accidentally.
Due to these cloud hacks, improvements across the board to protect the consumer has emerged, with new laws (Data Protection Act, 1998), as well as user agreements and contractual provisions, and governing law and jurisdiction. This allows for greater piece of mind for consumer, as well as an ability to prosecute criminals who infiltrate secure networks and violate new governing laws and jurisdictions. These protections are enforced by companies who engage stakeholders with questionnaires, as well as through social media feedback and through privacy security settings, as well as if there are small and large scale hacks into their systems, as a means of finding holes and flaws in their security (Zhang 2014, p.1)

This increased security provides piece of mind, and the greater our security is ‘breached’, the better the security to block, catch and prosecute those attempting to infiltrate our data will be. The higher profile attacks on companies and data, the greater the legislation and security tracking will be to protect and support its users will become.

And isn’t that just an overall win for everyone?


Tivey, J, & Pearson, F 2015, ‘Feature: Protecting yourself from cloud-based risks’, Computer Fraud & Security, 2015, pp. 18-20, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 15 August 2016.

Zhiyong Zhang, Z 2015, ‘Security, Trust and Risk in Multimedia Social Networks’, Computer Journal, 58, 4, pp. 515-517, Applied Science & Technology Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 15 August 2016.


quapan 2008, labyrinthine circuit board lines, photograph, retrieved 16 October 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/hinkelstone/2435823037>, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

Walter 2014, DSC_4149_pp, photograph, retrieved 15 October 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/walterpro/15373174944>, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic




7 thoughts on “What’s in a name…iCloud hacking and security

  1. A cool interesting read! Many different types of subservience and hacking here that flowed well and was informative! A few points of improvement I could make are I didn’t really see how the title fitted in with the article. A more appropriate title could open it up to a more defined market. Another suggestion is give it a quick proofread before posting as the first sentence of the 5th paragraph is a bit difficult to understand. One last suggestion is with the creative commons referencing, copy the type of license as it is, for example (CC BY-2.0) rather then CC 2.0. Thanks for a good read!


  2. Very Interesting read! I particularly like how you start off seeming completely dystopian and then towards the end manage to reassure the reader that even though these horrifying things are happening, there are solutions being made at the same time.

    The referencing, embedded tweet and images also work well to bring your argument together and really adds to the overall ‘flow’ of the post. The only constructive piece of criticism I have to offer is that the creative commons referencing should be ‘CC BY 2.0’ and that the hyperlinks for image references at the end should open on a new page.

    Other than that, great work and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!


  3. Hellotheinternet! Great Blog with the topic context was perfect, the written expression and the argument were clear. Referencing and grammar overall was good apart from the creative commons licence, which previously discuss in other comments. Your blog layout is clear, however would love to see some more of you in it, perhaps linking your social media or some sort of photos to display personality. Good use of photos however would encourage the use of some other media such as tweets, videos or more articles:

    Shklovski, I, Mainwaring, SD, Skúladóttir, HH & Borgthorsson, H 2014, ‘Leakiness and creepiness in app space: Perceptions of privacy and mobile app use’, in Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems, pp. 2347-56.

    Overall incredible job and keep up the good work… look forward to checking back in 🙂


  4. Nice post! I enjoyed the moderation of your article which was initially very doom and gloom. Incorporation of tweets and images made the piece visually appealing and broke up the text. It was very informative and well researched! Keep you the good work.


  5. This was a really well put together post. While it covered many individual topics and examples of digital security, it all came together and flowed perfectly. The piece provided a balanced tone and outlook on the topics and used scholarly evidence to support your clear points of discussion. I like that you have gone back and amended the referencing problems that your peers highlighted, well done! The part where you talk about Mark Zuckerburg covering his microphone and webcam and “the scope of this image” would have been a perfect opportunity to include the picture of discussion, but elsewhere your embedded tweets fit the content and break up the walls of text. Overall an enjoyable read!


  6. The embedded tweets in this blog work well as a way of both adding to the arguments that you are making, and as a way of visually breaking up a bunch of text, which some readers often find quite tiresome. I thought the arguments that were presented in this blog were well thought out and were presented in an interesting way. I would have liked to see some more examples of the different events that you make reference to, perhaps with some hyperlinks or the like.
    I did find it interesting that you started the piece by saying that it wasn’t a dystopian idea, and ended it with the idea that constant surveillance is equal to security, which many would argue is a dystopia in itself. I enjoyed the subtlety in that.


  7. Hey Dust,
    It certainly is easy to see the world from a dystopian view at times, especially when information can get very quickly out of hand and twisted when it’s being circled around the internet. It can become seriously concerning when we see icons such as Zuckerburg, who seem to have a superior understanding of just how and what the internet really is, taking extra precautions to ensure his privacy and personal security are kept invasion-free. I like how you’ve incorporated a solution to your argument by introducing the law and judicial actions that are being put into place to try and keep our data and creations safe, it brings to light how the law is trying, and is slowly catching up to a fast past technical environment that is rapidly ever changing.
    Well done.


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