Hackers Used Police Tool to Steal Celeb Photos
'Wired' reports on software that's easy to obtain
By Shelley Hazen, Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2014 6:44 PM CDT
In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Hackers who stole nude photos of female celebs used software intended for police and spies to parse data from iPhones, reports Wired. "What this demonstrates is that even without explicit backdoors, law enforcement has powerful tools that might not always stay in law enforcement," a forensic tech expert tells the website's Andy Greenberg. The legal software is called Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker; while it's sold for $399, you don't have to prove you're a cop to buy it, and free bootleg versions are widely available. EPPB seems to be a favorite at AnonIB—a Web forum where hackers parade stolen naked photos, writes Greenberg.

The story explains that hackers may have used EPPB in combination with something called iBrute, a "password-cracking software" said to be linked to a flaw in the "Find My iPhone" feature. Hackers would obtain Apple ID passwords through iBrute, then use EPPB to impersonate a victim's IPhone or iPad and download all of the device's backup files. Apple disputes the idea of a breach in iCloud or Find My iPhone, though it released an update designed to fix the iBrute flaw. At Mashable, Christina Warren shelled out $200 for a copy of EPPB and was able to hack her own iCloud account. Click for her first-person account, or for Greenberg's full story. (Bad news for hackers: Some of the stolen images are child porn.)

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
Sep 5, 2014 11:44 AM CDT
All technology is Open Source, free for the taking. If you invent it, they will come.
Sep 5, 2014 11:02 AM CDT
Once again. If you don't want nude photos hacked, don't take any.
Sep 5, 2014 5:33 AM CDT
Apple and Google both took a pass on protecting our privacy. iTunes and Google Play both have thousands of apps that force users to grant permission to every bit of data on the phone. Facebook, Twitter, etc know they'll get enough app users who will decided to surrender control of their phone just to use the app.