Photos and who to blame

In light of the recent apple/icloud incident I thought I would bring up a little bug bear of mine. Blaming the victim, if you are mocking the celebrities and commenting on how “it’s their own fault” please stop.

Why do people even take these types of photos?

Why not? Anyone who has been in an intimate loving relationship would have either taken photos, videos or been asked to do so. If this is something you aren’t comfortable with then obviously it wont happen, but I believe this can be down to personal insecurities more than any philosophical stand point (and I accept I will be wrong in some cases, our differences are what make us human πŸ™‚ )

Now imagine that the relationship has a distance element, perhaps your loved one works away a lot. A few keepsakes can be nice.

Celebrities are in loving relationships just the same as the rest of us, and they work away a lot. So having these photos is no real shock to me, in fact I think it’s perfectly normal and expected.

But they stored them online!

Apple back up your ‘Camera Roll’ by default, so saying people are stupid to store things online becomes a little mean. What is actually the case is manufacturers, like Apple, assume we want them to hold all of our data, acting like parents keeping hold of their children’s important items.

Disabling this feature means you need to be a little tech savvy and a. know it’s turned on and b. know how to turn it off.

Can you select which photos are backed up? Perhaps you want to keep the photos of your family online in case your device is lost/stole, meaning you end up backing up everything!

Ok, it’s Apple’s fault

From what I have seen Apple did have a vulnerability in their “find my iPhone” feature which allowed a brute-force attack to be carried out, without locking the account and I assume without alerting Apple.

I would hope that the Apple Security Operations Centre (SOC) can see brute force attempts and act on them, but as I have no idea how their security is set up I will stop there πŸ™‚

Apple were apparently slow to patch the venerability, this is historically the case with Apple who in 2012 were accused of being “10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security” while things have undoubtedly improved, the fact that iProducts are becoming more popular means Apple need to up their game as they become targeted more and more.

Regardless of how much Apple did or did not do, the important thing to remember is that they are also the victim here.

So two victims? But I want to blame someone!!

Blame the thief!

I like my analogies, so lets use one here. A thief breaks into a celebrities house, steals photos from a bedside table and posts them to every household in the world. The house was locked with a normal lock. Do we blame the house? The celebrity who wasn’t home? No we blame the thief and call them despicable for posting all these photos.

Why is this different?

Someone broke past a security system designed to keep them out, OK it could’ve been stronger (but once upon a time people used to leave their doors open and invite neighbours in), but it was still a security system. They then intentionally (I assume) targeted these celebrities and intentionally took any provocative photographs, without the knowledge or consent of the victim.

The last part, posting them online, is open to debate. It is possible that the original attacker never posted them, but instead that person was compromised and the second attacker posted them online after discovering them. We may never know exactly what happened in this part of the scenario.

Concluding thoughts

Too often in cases were a high profile person gets “hacked” I see people immediately blaming that person, saying “what did you expect?” (I think they expected their data to be secure and not shared without consent), we need to change our mindset. Instead of shaming the victims of cyber crime we should be supporting them. In the same way that a girl dressing in an attractive manner on a night out, does not mean she deserves to be attacked, a person taking provocative or sexual pictures does not mean they deserve to be hacked.

No more shame. A lot more support.

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