Journalist’s iCloud Account Hacked and Apple Tech Support Shoulders Part of the Blame

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Mat Honan is best known for his work on tech news site, Gizmodo, but perhaps not for long. On Friday, Honan had his digital life was turned upside down when his iCloud account was compromised. As it turns out, Apple tech support is partly to blame.

Honan stated on his blog that he first realised something was wrong when his iPhone rebooted to the default setup screen. When he tried to restore the previous settings from the iCloud backup, he then found he couldn’t login to iCloud. Finally he tried connected the iPhone to his MacBook Air which immediately displayed an error message and asked for a four digit PIN.

Honan’s problems also extended to his iPad but that was merely the beginning of the nightmare.  His Google account was deleted, his Twitter feed was compromised and eventually, the hacker attempted a remote wipe of the three Apple devices.

At first Honan assumed that it was a brute force attack that allowed the hacker entry into his account but he soon learned when reconfiguring his accounts that it had nothing to do with his password, but rather the clever “social engineering” of an Apple tech support employee which allowed the hacker to bypass the security questions.

While Honan did confirm with both the hacker and Apple that this was the method used to gain entry to his account, Apple Corporate and the company’s PR team have yet to respond to his queries.

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