Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) would rather we not know this, because they’re involved indirectly in a case of digital erasure of epic proportion.
A story that has been relatively buried in the last couple days is this recent story about Mat Honan, who had relied on “cloud computing” to keep all of his important files and passwords – until he was hacked into and had all of his accounts and important files deleted – including irreplacable photos of his daughter.
His iPhone, iPad and MacBook were all attacked remotely. Many have heard about the wonders of cloud computing but, not surprisingly, not many have heard about drawbacks to the cloud.
Mat Honan learned one very big drawback.
On the one hand, Honan did not have a home backup of his files (an external drive, for example), and then he had basically connected each of his accounts with a small piece of information 0 just enough for the hackers to use to get into one account, which connected them to another, and then another. But there were others things learned in this process as well, as Honan explained it.
“But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s,” he said. “Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification.”
One should remember that businesses need a little time to get caught up to the latest and greatest systems and how to secure them. Cloud computing is still very new, so it is greatly encouraged – especially if you have accounts at Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) that you make sure you take your own precautions to protect what you have – at least until these big companies (and small ones too) get more adept and locking down the cloud.
For sure, no company wants another Mat Honan story.