What Small Business Owners Can Learn from Hacked Celebrity Accounts

by / Wednesday, 03 September 2014 / Published in Technology For Business

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The internet was left reeling over Labor Day weekend by leaked nude photos of many of the most high profile personalities in Hollywood, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton among others. In the aftermath of the leak, a flurry of articles have come out, reporting on the pleas from hacked camps to not look at the photos as well as the various interpretations of what the event means in relation to celebrity and its relationship with the public, privacy in an increasingly public age, digital security and the knowledge that individuals need in order to protect themselves.

The photos may have been stolen via hacking of cloud accounts. According to the Telegraph, the photos may have been stolen through exploiting vulnerabilities in Apple’s cloud storage, and may not have been the work of a single hacker alone, rather a longstanding hacking ring that has amassed a potentially much larger collection of salacious celebrity photographs. We have already written about the potential security gaps that small businesses can encounter when using smartphones to manage sensitive information pertaining to their business or personal information. Since many people have devices that automatically sync information with the cloud, they should be aware of the fact that cloud accounts, by virtue of their ability to be remotely accessed, may be creating another means of entry into their cached information. Know the implications of where you choose to store your data, as well as how many avenues of access you create to it.

Pick a strong password and limit the amount of permissions you grant. While it may seem like your personal and business accounts would never merit the attention of a hacker on the level of a celebrity, the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of hackers who see large profitability in stealing small business information, which is often poorly protected, making it easy for them to scrape multiple businesses for value. Picking a strong and unique password is the first step to setting up an account, and is one way to increase the difficulty with which a hacker can enter your accounts. Once a hacker has access to a single account, such as an email account, it then becomes a lot easier for them to penetrate into linked accounts as they gather more useful information with which to crack passwords and forge identities. In a similar light, limiting the apps to which you grant permissions can help minimize someone hacking your phone or cloud account through accidental security flaws found in downloaded software, just like plugins on your website.


Photo Credit to Robert Nelson on Flickr

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