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Tech: Somebody ate his apple?

JohnInKansas 06 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM
YorkshireYankee 07 Aug 12 - 10:28 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Aug 12 - 12:44 AM
Ole Juul 08 Aug 12 - 01:25 AM
Newport Boy 08 Aug 12 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Guest 08 Aug 12 - 11:43 AM
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Subject: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM

Not really unexpected news for those of us who've been a little "suspicious" about some new trends; but the report here gives a good account of what happened to one person - and if you check the whole story at the link - what could happen to lots of people.

Hacker takes over tech writer's online existence

Attacker called, convinced Apple tech support to turn over control of writer's Apple account

By Paul Wagenseil
SecurityNews
8/6/2012

Imagine you're playing with your young daughter when suddenly your iPhone goes blank.

You check your iPad, but it's been wiped clean too.

You run to your laptop, and catch it erasing all its own data.

You get online, but both of your email addresses have been hijacked, your online storage has been emptied and someone else is using your Twitter account.

This nightmare scenario happened in real life Friday afternoon (Aug. 3) for Mat Honan, a technology journalist based in San Francisco.

Someone took over Honan's Apple account, which let him remotely wipe Honan's iPhone, iPad and MacBook, then leverage that power to take over Honan's Google and Twitter accounts as well, plus the Twitter account of Gizmodo, the tech blog Honan sometimes writes for.

Yet Honan's enemy wasn't an elite hacker who used advanced techniques to crack Honan's password. Instead, the attacker simply placed a call to Apple tech support and convinced Apple to give him control of Honan's Apple account.

...

[Check the linked article if you're interested in how easily it was all done.]

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 10:28 PM

Whoa... scary stuff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:44 AM

Some additional comment is beginning to creep into daylight that may(?) relate the incident cited above to more general "problems on the horizon."

A sample at:

The Dangerous Cloud

"I really worry about everything going to the cloud," Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently said. "I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."

(I really hate to have to agree with Apple, but they say that's what he said.)

The article is too long to post here, but check it out if interested. It refers to the incident, but doesn't actually give more information about the guy who's apples got turned into applesauce; but it does discuss "the general state of things" in a way that might be help some to re-think what they're doing now so that they can do better.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: Ole Juul
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:25 AM

ElReg reported on the Woz comment as well. Nice to see that this Apple founder is really a sensible technologist and not just a fashionable "nerd".

As for the problems reported by the OP, all I can say is regardless of what you pay, you still get what you pay for. A "tech writer" should have known better (though I suspect he relishes the story) - after all even the very Steve Wozniac is warning people. A regular joe user, I'd feel sorry for though. People trust tech they don't understand and you can't blame them for that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:11 AM

Mat Honan (the writer caught) tells the full story here

At the end he identifies the faults in the system (including his own). On my reading, there are two main reasons why this hack was possible. The first is acceptance of the benefits of having all your devices and data connected 'in the cloud', without taking extreme security and local backup precautions. If you do this, you put all your devices and data in someone else's hands.

The second reason is the ridiculous use by Apple of the last 4 digits of a credit card number as a security check. This is the only bit of credit card information that is universally available. They are printed on almost all card receipts.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Somebody ate his apple?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:43 AM

"The second reason is the ridiculous use by Apple of the last 4 digits of a credit card number as a security check. This is the only bit of credit card information that is universally available. They are printed on almost all card receipts.

Phil"

From my personal experience buying my Mac, I wanted to pay with an very valid (national bank) check; but for both that and a few other lesser purchases (local bank), the Mac store demurred - they wanted credit card(s) faster to process. In the instance of the mac purchase, friend accompanying me put the mac purchase on his credit card: I had endless problems stemming from this - couldn't sign in, get account to work, etc.   Wasn't until trying to upgrade to Snow Leopard that we finally realized some of the problems stemmed from charging it to that friend's credit card - So far I'm trying NOT to upgrade to the cloud; am trying to keep Snow Leopard -
but thanks Phil, for your comment clarifying/re-enforcing the sort of nightmare black hole I inadvertently stumbled into some four years ago: "the ridiculous use by Apple of the last four digits of a credit card number as a security check" - My own personal experience of Apple has been a sort of love/hate: the product is incredible for ease of use, but Apple couldn't care less about its individual customer, nor its workers - profits all the way -


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