Apple has issued a new warning this morning to iCloud users. While Apple has not stated that the attacks are aimed at users in China, there’s good reason to suspect that users based in China are largely being targeted with these attacks.
Recently, Chinese Internet users have been reporting that attempting to connect to iCloud has resulted in various warnings, so it makes good sense that those warnings are directly connect to the attacks that Apple has experienced on their end.
The company warns iCloud users that network attacks have been attempted recently, and that Apple is taking these attacks seriously.
The Warning Details
Hackers are currently trying to use insecure certificates in order to obtain iCloud user details. This is why some users are directed to insecure sites when trying to connect to iCloud. By successfully diverting users to dummy sites, hackers can then obtain passwords and login details. Most browsers will warn users of these insecure redirects, but this isn’t always the case and some users may not be aware that these sites pose a serious security threat.
Apple has not directly mentioned China in the warnings the company recently put out, but some speculate that the attacks are directly linked to the fact that Apple has just started to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China. Those phones contain advanced encryption methods that make it very hard for the Chinese Government to tap into user data, as has been suspected in the past. By sending iCloud users to various dummy sites, hackers can quickly obtain login details in order to keep tabs on user activities.
Apple has also stated that the attacks do not impact users trying to sign into iCloud from an iPhone or iPad, or those that use a Mac computer while running the latest Mac OS and using Safari. However, the company has stated that any users not using Safari or signing in with an iPhone or iPad should make sure that security features are in place when using another browser or other tool to sign into iCloud. Browsers equipped with the right security features should warn users that they are not signing into the right website.
What to Do
If you do see a warning sign pop up when trying to log into your iCloud account, you should not continue. Security warnings pop up due to insecure sites, so make sure to heed these warnings.
Apple recently came under some fire when iCloud was hacked and celebrity nude photos were spread across the Internet, but Apple has told press that the two incidents are unrelated. These hacks, it seems, are of a much different sort.
Since Apple has introduced new encryption methods, iCloud has been a direct target for hackers of all kinds and from various places. While the connection between these latest hacks and reported problems from iCloud users in China seem obvious, it’s important to restate that Apple has not named any countries or specific users in this case.