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This is a fascinating and very readable story about how a writer for Wired had his Amazon account hacked over the phone, leading to his Apple ID being hacked the same way (and all his data being wiped)! What’s interesting about it is that there was almost no technical knowledge necessary to perform the hack, and no special software required. It merely required a few phone calls to Amazon and Apple.

The end result is that ALL his devices (Macbook, ipad, iphone) were wiped remotely and he lost all his data because he didn’t have a backup outside of his synced Apple devices and iCloud. Everything was part of the Apple “system”, and once that system was compromised, everything he had was vulnerable.

This article is not very technical, and therefore I recommend it to everyone as a cautionary tale. My first takeaway (aside from the need for better security at Apple and Amazon) is that you should avoid using the same email addresses for multiple critical accounts. My second takeaway is that iCloud is not ready for primetime (which I have been telling my clients for a while), and that you should not enable “Find My Mac”, which allows hackers to wipe your computer and all data stored on icloud remotely.

I do have the “Find My Iphone” app enabled, but if my iphone were hacked and wiped, it would not be devastating. All our data is backed up both locally and in the cloud (NOT on icloud).

http://m.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/

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