Tim Cook speaks out on recent iCloud hacks, promises new security measures

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Tim Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal today, but not to talk about how excited Apple is about next week’s iPhone event. Instead, the CEO answered questions regarding the recent iCloud scandal, which led to the posting of dozens of nude celebrity photos earlier this week.

Apple has already released a statement on the matter, claiming that iCloud and its subsequent services had not been breached. Cook reiterated those claims today, and added that the Cupertino company plans to rollout a number of new security features to make its devices more safe.

It’s believed that celebrities’ iCloud accounts were compromised by a mix of social engineering and phishing scams. Cook tells the Journal that Apple’s new plan to combat this is to begin sending push notifications to users when someone tries to change or reset their account passwords.

Additionally, Apple will soon begin notifying users whenever someone tries to restore iCloud data to a new device, or a device logs into an account for the first time. Until now, users merely received an email when someone tried to change a password or log in from an unknown Apple device.

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Cook says Apple also plans to broaden its use of “two-factor authentication,” which requires a user to have two of three things to access an account: a password, a separate four-digit one-time code, or a long access key given to users. Most iOS device owners don’t have this feature enabled.

Apple is fighting to preserve its public image ahead of what is to believed to be a major media event next week. It’s expected to unveil a new iPhone, as well as a new mobile payment service and health-tracking smartwatch, the latter two of which would require significant trust from consumers.

To learn how to enable Apple’s two-step authentication on your account, click here. Apple will begin sending the notifications in two weeks.

[The Wall Street Journal]