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Apple cloud burst: how hacker wiped Mat's 'life'
casey weekly berwick.com ^ | 08/06/2012 | ASHER MOSES

Posted on 08/06/2012 1:57:22 PM PDT by aimhigh

What would you do if your entire digital life started evaporating before your eyes and there was virtually nothing you could do about it?

This is the nightmare scenario that greeted US technology journalist Mat Honan, who had all of the contents of his iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air wiped, and lost control of his Gmail and Twitter accounts, all in the span of just over 15 minutes.

(Excerpt) Read more at caseyweeklyberwick.com.au ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apple; backup; backups; cloud; computer; hacker; icloud; mathonan; technology
Apple staff blew it. Scary.
1 posted on 08/06/2012 1:57:28 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh

Apple staff blew it but the cloud was not the issue. This guy had way to much ‘out there’ on himself. This could have just as easily happened without the cloud(and has). The truth is anything you have uploaded or use on the Internet is open to being hacked and stolen


2 posted on 08/06/2012 2:02:04 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster

When I buy tunes on Amazon, they always ask me if I want to save it to the cloud and I say no. When I got my new Droid Bionic, (I call her Ann), lo and behold, there were my tunes. What’s up with that?


3 posted on 08/06/2012 2:05:31 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: aimhigh

Be hilarious if it was Woz or Mitnick.


4 posted on 08/06/2012 2:07:32 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: aimhigh
What would you do if your entire digital life started evaporating before your eyes and there was virtually nothing you could do about it?

Celebrate my liberation.

5 posted on 08/06/2012 2:07:37 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (At what point does an escalated effort to remove this traitor commence, and what form does it take?)
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To: sportutegrl

>> When I got my new Droid Bionic [strange stuff happened]. What’s up with that?

Resistance is futile. You and the Borg are now One. Learn to enjoy it.

Me, I’ve Looked At The Cloud From Both Sides Now, and I stay away from it. :-)


6 posted on 08/06/2012 2:10:55 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Love the cult, respect the leader, but I simply can't drink the koolaid and die.)
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To: aimhigh

bookmark


7 posted on 08/06/2012 2:17:49 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: aimhigh

I concede the convenience of backing up to the cloud. But I’ve seen businesses fold because their sole backup turned out to be worthless, after a hardware failure.

My life is on my own drives. And my own drives are backed up, daily. And offsite copies are kept, of the backups, whenever I remember to swap the backup drives and take one with me to work. (Which is every couple of weeks.)

The important thing is that I’m always running on a restored backup. If you’ve never done a full restore from a bare disk, you’re not really doing a backup. There’s no way, short of that, to know whether your backup process actually works.

So every time I set up a new system, and configure an automate backup method, I let the automated system do its thing, then the next day I pull the working drive, grab the backup and a bare drive, and do a restore.

And I’ll do it again, every year or to, just to make sure things are still working.

Untested procedures don’t work. And single points of failure will always fail.


8 posted on 08/06/2012 2:19:09 PM PDT by jdege
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To: aimhigh
Just goes to show that in the event of an EMP, or extended loss of the power grid, millions of Americans would not survive.

As a "US technology journalist," perhaps Mat Honan should consider a new career.

9 posted on 08/06/2012 2:19:51 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: aimhigh

Cloud?
Social network?
iPhone?

Nope, don’t use ANY of those.

No damn cell phone, no credit card.

Minimum balance in the debit account, so even when some one got my PIN it did them no good.
Happened once, without $800 in the account, or the ability to charge money not there, the thieves got not nothing!

I back up important files on CD, no stupid “Cloud” exposure.
I have actual work to do, so no silly social network, Twit-ter, texting, time waster, FR gets me all of that I can handle. ;-)

This guy needs to find some life in the actual world, if your whole life is “Virtual”, you virtually have no life!

Hard to have much sympathy.


10 posted on 08/06/2012 2:21:23 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition
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To: aimhigh
I'm starting a new business. You give me your bank records, your car keys, and the deed to your house. I'll keep them safe. You don't have to know who I am, all you have to know is that it's FREE!

What, are you kidding? I'll clean up.

11 posted on 08/06/2012 2:25:14 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: aimhigh

I’m surprised the ambulance-chasing shysters of the plaintiff’s bar haven’t seen this development as a potential new cash cow.......


12 posted on 08/06/2012 2:30:40 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!!!!!)
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To: Vendome
Be hilarious if it was Woz or Mitnick. Saw an article on Drudge today where the Woz was saying that he is leary of the cloud. Is he trying to prove a point?
13 posted on 08/06/2012 2:34:06 PM PDT by StevieB
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To: All; aimhigh
Mat Honan is connected to the same Gawker Media who paid for the stolen iPhone 4 prototype.

It's certainly not impossible for this bit of social engineering to have happened but it's best to take his version of events with a healthy dose of salt. What information would have to have been in the "hackers" possession? I've read AppleCare requires you to give product serial numbers. That isn't easy to come by for a random "hacker."

Given the history, I wouldn't be surprised if the "hacker" was a friend or colleague and this was a crass stunt like phony hate crimes.

14 posted on 08/06/2012 2:35:10 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: Loyal Sedition

He’s a “professional” “tech journalist” they’re up their with lawyers, pundits and politicians in the sympathy department.


15 posted on 08/06/2012 2:38:49 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: Billthedrill

It’s like that current internet scam where they call up and tell the rubes Obama will pay their utility bills, just need a SS number and bank account ID.

Since it’s so believable given the amount of govt largesse these days, they’re getting lots of action.

Apparently most of the bank accounts are minimal, but they open up credit cards with the numbers and charge away.


16 posted on 08/06/2012 2:38:49 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: the invisib1e hand

Ha!
I used to use MobileMe, didn’t need it, but a friend convinced me to get it. Then Apple shut down MobileMe, and started up iCloud. You have to be able to run at least Lion to even use iCloud. My Mac was built in 2006, and can’t run Lion, can’t use iCloud. So I didn’t sign up. Morning of July 1st, woke up to no email. It wouldn’t send, nor receive emails. My fault! I kept getting a window I’d never seen before, asking for my Macmail password. I started the account about 20 years ago, and had never been asked for my password. Can’t remember it, nor find where I wrote it down. Totally my fault!

So I go to the Mac site that lets you retrieve or change your password. No problem, except, they’ll only send the new/retrieved password to my mac mail account, which won’t freakin’ send or RECEIVE emails. Catch 22! I had to open a gmail account, and in comparison to macmail, gmail sucks, incredibly!


17 posted on 08/06/2012 2:39:38 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: jdege
Amen.

I just cannot understand why anyone would want to rely upon a cloud based service to store their data or even as their primary backup.

Hard drives are incredibly cheap (up to 2 TB for around $100) and much faster to access than even the fastest broadband internet connection. Data can be priceless.

I backup my entire network onto secondary hard drives throughout the day. Once a day I also backup everything to a removable hard drive, which I take home at night (I have several and rotate them). Finally, I also backup everything to a cloud based service.

If my network fails, I can immediately retrieve my data from one of the secondary hard drives, and only lose at most a few hours of data. If my office burns to the ground, I can retrieve everything from my removable hard drive and only lose at most one day's worth of data (all of which can be retrieved from the cloud service).

18 posted on 08/06/2012 2:43:47 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: jdege

You chose... wisely.

I use Acronis True Image almost exclusively. It’s never let me down, and it’s saved my bacon more than once.


19 posted on 08/06/2012 2:58:13 PM PDT by Noumenon (I will not pay the Obama jizya.)
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To: aimhigh

“Clouds” are nothing but a new name to Internet storage. That’s all. Consumers rejected Internet storage years ago, yet, they’ll buy it if it seems like something they call it a “cloud”.


20 posted on 08/06/2012 3:08:29 PM PDT by CodeToad (History says our end is near.)
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To: Bubba_Leroy

The only thing I have on the cloud is a copy of my music so I can play on any device (phone, pad, PC, laptop) anywhere. Or play on someone else’s device in a social setting.

For away from the internet devices, I just download key playlists.


21 posted on 08/06/2012 3:10:13 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
you deserve an award for documenting that miserable experience which, by the way, I maintain is the template for much interaction with information technology, regardless of machine, provider, race, creed or color.

I don't think the socio-psychological damage is calculable.

22 posted on 08/06/2012 3:33:23 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (At what point does an escalated effort to remove this traitor commence, and what form does it take?)
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To: Loyal Sedition
There is one thing you may want to change about the way you are minimizing exposure. Assuming you can keep track and pay off your balance every month, a credit card is actually safer than a debit card. In essence a credit transaction is an agreement between the credit card company and the retailer. The retailer is supposed to positively id you as the proper user of the card (which they almost never do.) A debit card is more of an agreement between you and the bank, where the security feature is your pin number.

In the event of a fraudulent use of a credit card, you can dispute the charges and you can also request a limit to the amount of credit extended. With a debit card, if you get nailed by a skimmer, you are responsible.

Large scale skimmer rackets are getting more common and they are targeting debit cards by getting a bunch of card and pin sets, making new cards and hitting a bunch of accounts in near simultaneous fashion.

23 posted on 08/06/2012 3:36:47 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: CodeToad
“Clouds” are nothing but a new name to Internet storage. That’s all. Consumers rejected Internet storage years ago, yet, they’ll buy it if it seems like something they call it a “cloud”.

Yep, chalk one up for the marketing guys - and persistence.

As for me, I don't trust the cloud, no matter how benign Apple makes its backup logo appear. I always expect to see it change a bit with the weather forecast, I guess.

:-)

24 posted on 08/06/2012 3:48:29 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: CodeToad
“Clouds” are nothing but a new name to Internet storage. That’s all. Consumers rejected Internet storage years ago, yet, they’ll buy it if it seems like something they call it a “cloud”.

Yep, chalk one up for the marketing guys - and persistence.

As for me, I don't trust the cloud, no matter how benign Apple makes its backup logo appear. I always expect to see it change a bit with the weather forecast, I guess.

:-)

25 posted on 08/06/2012 3:48:40 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: CodeToad

The cloud allows you to access and edit documents that are stored online, so it’s a functional, everyday step above plain old storage. Some people may have less technical solutions that they claim is “the cloud”, but the real cloud is a extension of the “network drive” folks use at their workplace to store common files. This time, instead of shared users, the “cloud” is more focused on single users and multiple devices/points of access (although you do have multi-user, multi-access point uses of the cloud as well).

There is also this extension that Apple has added where you no longer personally control your devices, but are just sort of “leasing” them from Apple (even though you purchased the physical devices), which allowed this guy to have all his devices and content wiped away.

The cloud is a hackers wet dream. Combine Facebook and the cloud, and it’s hacker heaven.


26 posted on 08/06/2012 4:33:48 PM PDT by risen_feenix
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To: jdege; CodeToad

See 8. Agree?


27 posted on 08/06/2012 4:47:09 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: aimhigh
And the scariest part is that he had a strong, seven-digit alphanumeric password.

There's no such thing as a "secure" seven-character password. Even when you mix different kinds of characters, seven characters is still way too short.

28 posted on 08/06/2012 5:57:58 PM PDT by grundle
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To: jdege
The important thing is that I’m always running on a restored backup. If you’ve never done a full restore from a bare disk, you’re not really doing a backup. There’s no way, short of that, to know whether your backup process actually works.

All your advice is spot on! Me and the wife don't trust the cloud. Simple stuff yes, but the majority of our data stays at home. Multiple backups on different drives, one of which is rotated to a fireproof safe.

Stupid is as stupid does, I've seen so-called professionals screw up backups. 20 years ago I was one of two system engineers in charge of running an IBM mainframe site for a hospital complex. The contractors who did the initial build of the facilities were very protective of the documentation until the handover into my hands a month after going live (I spent 6 months trying to pry info out of them, they rebuffed me citing confidential proprietary b.s.).

The system had been up several weeks when there was a failure, and data needed to be retrieved. No data on the tapes, the system had written nothing on a daily basis! When me and my colleague got handover a week later, we had to rewrite and document much of the system. We also implemented regular power outage tests and data restores on a monthly basis.

29 posted on 08/06/2012 6:09:28 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: Travis McGee

Some of it. Internet storage works when used properly, but that includes never using only one storage company and using strong encryption, always having local off-site backup in case the Internet connectivity is not available, and having local on-site storage with fire proof vault or containers. “Disaster Recovery” is only part of a “Business Continuity Plan”.

If the worst possible disaster hit a business, the local office affected should be back in business within hours. The global business would have never faltered. That’s is a Business Continuity Plan.

The systems I work were created over a 40 year period and over $1 billion in costs. Imagine if a simple fire destroyed everything or the Cloud allowed unauthorized access and the world could see the secrets.


30 posted on 08/07/2012 6:51:15 AM PDT by CodeToad (History says our end is near.)
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To: Travis McGee

P.S. Cloud for document storage and manipulation, no way in Hell. You the user have no way of verifying that a document actually is encrypted and secure from prying eyes or hackers. You also have no clue about their backup plan. Imagine one day Apple releasing the following press release: “We’re sorry, but this one computer system in BFE burned up. Nothing was being backed up as we thought. Everything is lost. Sorry.” Their computer geeks are no better than anyone else’s geeks, including you, the user. I use Internet storage, but everything sent to those places is encrypted by me then uploaded.


31 posted on 08/07/2012 6:57:54 AM PDT by CodeToad (History says our end is near.)
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To: cicero2k
The only thing I have on the cloud is a copy of my music so I can play on any device (phone, pad, PC, laptop) anywhere.

I use an internet backup service to store an encrypted backup of my network. This is the last line of defense in my redundant backup system (onsite backups, backups to removable hard drives that I rotate off site, and finally internet backup). For a long time I resisted adding internet backups to the mix, but ultimately decided that with proper encryption the data was as secure as the data in my office.

Unlike many small businesses, I encrypt all of my office hard drives. If you don't and someone breaks into your office and steals a computer, all of your data can be at risk.

I also use Dropbox and Amazon cloud storage, but only for music, ebooks and other files that I have no concern about anyone else accessing.

32 posted on 08/07/2012 8:39:57 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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