Are your private photos secure?

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Olivia Storey

Kylie Jenner, reality TV star and social media personality, has fallen victim to a Snapchat ‘hack’.

An attacker gained controlled of Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat account and threatened to post nude photos onto the online instant messaging application. Although the attacker stated ‘RT for her nudes’ and ‘add for Kylie’s nudes’, it is not clear whether the hacker did actually have possession of the explicit photos.

Kylie Jenner isn’t the only celebrity to have their private accounts targeted and hacked; the other most recent being Sarah Hyland, of Modern Family, who had nude photos posted online. It is unclear how her photos were stolen, and there is speculation as to whether it is even her in the photos, but still raises questions about the security of personal data.

It is not known how the account was compromised, but there are few ways in which a tenacious hacker could find a way in. We ask Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, about the increase in celebrity hacks and how is best for anyone to avoid being compromised.

“Of course the problem here is the term ‘Hack’.

“If it is indeed a hack, then someone has taken great efforts to use their expertise and knowledge to break into an incredibly secure messaging or cloud storage platform.

“Thus more photos from the thousands of celebs that use these platforms are sure to follow.

“More likely, is the fact that either a targeted phishing attack or password reuse is the cause, either way the term should be ‘theft’ not ‘hack’.

“Finding or acquiring someone’s username and password then trying to log into the various platforms until successful with the intention of stealing data is not hacking by any means.

“But the damage is no less severe.

“Of course we always recommend never to store any of your private photos online, and in an ideal world you should not have to worry about others stealing your intimate snaps but being in the public eye has its downsides (that does not make it right of course!).

“If anything, they need to use extra levels of security, secure unique passwords that are never reused, be very careful who you share your logins with and if possible use some kind of two or multi-factor authentication to protect those accounts.

“Once those digital photos or videos have been stolen they can never be retrieved or recovered, with sometimes catastrophic consequences.”


Do you make sure to use unique passwords for your most important accounts? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.


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