How ‘RipSec’ made its way to Hollywood with the iCloud celebrity hack
iCloud celebrity Hack : Hackers baited through photoshopped nudes using iCloud access of TV starlet
The chief hacker of the group nicknamed RipSec which took Hollywood by storm with their infamous iCloud celebrity hacks has disclosed in a documentary as to how thousands of nude photos and financial data of Tinsel Town icons were stolen and uploaded on websites.
The hacker decided to break his silence in a conversation with Travis Doering, a Canadian tech and producer. Doering offers details on security consultancy services to film Hollywood producers, filmstars, and businesses.
Speaking to Vulture South, he said that he had managed to acquire access to the secretive group. He also says that he has managed to find out the true identities of some of the iCloud hackers but would not disclose their names.
When the news of the celebrity hacks came out in the open, one of the major TV star in agreed to provide Doering access to her iCloud account during which he obtained that access.
With the permission of a naked model, Doering photoshopped fresh photos of her to fool the black hats into making them believe that he had hacked access.
“I contacted some of the celebrities and she gave me access to her account,” Doering says. “From there I baited them (the hackers).”
To find out the true identities of some of the black hats, Doering acquired access to the RipSec iCloud hacker group and scuppered crime forums Hell wherein he carried out inquiry into operational security weaknesses.
Doering says “It is worse, a lot worse” pointing that there is a lot more sensitive iCloud data on celebrities that was not released.
Of the total 11,372 iCloud accounts breached by RipSec in August this year, more than 700 accounts belonged to the celebrities.
The naked celebrity leaks that grabbed the headlines worldwide only enlarged the RipSec group in number and sophistication.
Spearheaded by the skilled system administrator, Doering says the group consisted of hackers that stole iCloud accounts for different reasons, which included fraud, blackmail, and voyeurism, and went on to become a hierarchical group of mostly unskilled hackers.
The admin says that one user even when on to sell sold the stolen pictures of children to child exploitation sites.
The RipSec boss known as Blackhat spoke under the condition of anonymity to Doering for the documentary Vulnerability describes how the group got access to financial information, photos, and other sensitive data using the iLoot tool along with guessed or stolen iCloud login credentials.
To allow hackers to download device backups from iCloud, the tool pretended as an iDevice.
Doering says an unnamed Canadian TV network was not willing to run a clip of the as-yet unreleased documentary, wherein the Blackhat severely reprimands Apple for claiming to have weak security controls which includes an absence of geographic limitations.
In other words, the hackers irrespective of the historic patterns could log into an iCloud account from any country without falling into fraud detection.
When the hackers restored iCloud backups using iloot, Apple failed to send email notifications to users. The admin says this feat gave them access to the media domain directory that had pictures from MMS messages.
He claims that even if the images are erased from user phones, they continue to remain in that directory within iCloud backups.
The group stole photos from third party apps including likes of WhatsApp, Viber and Lock Photo+Video Vault, says the Blackhat.
In order to assist in closing the vulnerabilities on security information, Doering recommends Apple to open a bug bounty program.
Resource: The Register
The author Kavita Iyer
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