Hack Attack

02 September 2014

It’s happened again. Another hack attack. This time aimed at photos that no-one intended to see the light of day.

The commentary overnight from many is that they shouldn’t be seen, shouldn’t be shared or gratuitously re-tweeted – and yet they always are.

The hackers are proudly claiming that they got hold of the photos from Apple’s iCloud Photostream service, which will automatically sync photos between your Apple devices and also stores them online in “the cloud”. This has yet to be confirmed by Apple and has been disputed by others online*. Many other platforms have fallen victim to this in the past few months, cementing the digital hack as the new trend.

So what makes this time any different?

We are hearing that this attack could be associated with a broader hack into photo streams – not just targeting those in the public eye. It is this undercurrent of commentary that is suggesting a larger, systematic breach that is now the problem: in short, you don’t have to be famous to be targeted. It’s time to stop being complacent.

In the past, we have worked with clients to protect their privacy when things like this happen. Using English Law we managed to contain things even when they started to spread on social media. We have drawn on a range of legal tools including privacy but also copyright, data protection and harassment to protect our clients’ privacy internationally. In some cases, you can put the genie back in the lamp.

As with all things, prevention is a far more effective cure. Ranging from mobile device security, through to broader information security strategy, our information risk team are often asked to consult on how to implement robust security measures to effectively minimise the risk of these types of attacks. If you’re worried about being caught in the next attempt, we have set out what happened and a few tips to help you protect yourself in an article entitled 'Are your photos safe in the cloud'.

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About the Authors

Keith Schilling

Chairman & Senior Partner

Keith Schilling has worked at the heart of reputation and privacy law for over three decades and is regarded as an eminent practitioner in his field.

646 934 6219

Joelle Rich


Joelle specialises in privacy, defamation, private family law and intellectual property rights, with clients ranging from high profile and high-net worth individuals to companies in the financial sphere.

646 934 6219
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