Apple activates Two-Factor Verification after iCloud hack

Apple ‘locking the stable doors after the horses have bolted’

This seems to the case with Apple. After coming under intense criticism from all and sundry for the last months online NSFW celebrity photo leak which many believe was due to hacking of iClould, Apple has NOW activated a two-factor authentication process for iCloud access.

Under the new authentication protocol setup, a iCloud user will have to opt for the new Two-Factor authentication.  The two-factor authentication process requires the input of an additional dynamically generated four-digit pass code, sent to a user’s smartphone in addition to the login and password details.

Users are required to verify  their accounts with a SMS-capable phone number for their accounts in order register a trusted device and use the security system.

Apple said on its website that the two-factor authentication is aimed at preventing anyone from accessing users’ iCloud accounts, even if their passwords are hacked or known to unwanted individuals.

A user’s identity must be verified using the two-step system in order to sign into a My Apple ID account; make iTunes, App Store, and iBooks Store purchases from a new device; and get Apple ID-related support from Apple.

Once a user is confirmed, iCloud assets are unlocked until the user closes the browser window or logs out.  The new authentication system may also prevent the kids from using the Apple store without the consent and knowledge of the parents.

In addition, Apple will be making it a bit stricter for Apple users using third party Apps like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird with iCloud.  In a message to users, Apple said that if iCloud is used with any third-party apps such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, they could now create app-specific passwords that allow the user to sign in securely, even if the app in question does not support two-factor verification. The company said that app-specific passwords would be required from October 1.

The move comes only weeks after a hacker allegedly cracked the iCloud accounts of a number of celebrities, leaking their private photos online. Interestingly the NSFW personal images showed up immediately after an Apple Find my iPhone online service exploit was revealed online.

If you are a Apple product user, you are requested to get the 2Factor authentication done immediately.  This will help secure your personal data.  Another interesting fact was that after the famous 5 million Gmail leaks was revealed, the usage of Google’s Two-Step Verification increased dramatically.

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