Security and the cloud

From an editorial Thursday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

It is a rare celebrity who dreads exposure, but the computer hackers who broke into Apple’s iCloud service platform to steal intimate photos, emails and phone contacts of well-known actors have brought new meaning to the problem.

As many as 100 celebrities have had their iCloud accounts compromised by determined hackers. They are believed to have taken advantage of a back door in Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app to infiltrate and raid the image storing platform. That back door has since been closed, but the fix comes too late for many who once believed that cloud-based platforms added an extra layer of security that was practically impregnable.

It shouldn’t be necessary to state the obvious, but in this case it is: Because there are bad people lurking on the Internet, a good rule of thumb is to assume that once photos are uploaded, a determined thief or voyeur can get at them.

That said, it isn’t enough to tell celebrities or ordinary people to stop uploading nude photos of themselves to the cloud. It’s still important that image storing platforms such as iCloud constantly update their security protocols. Apple and its competitors should also level with the public: There is no privacy in cyberspace.