By Sumit Passary | Aug 07, 2012 10:32 AM EDT
A cyber-attack on iGadgets put former Gizmodo reporter Mat Honan through thirty minutes of virtual ordeal. Data from Honan's iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air were all wiped off within minutes when he was playing with his daughter on Aug. 3.
Gadgets play an important role in our day-to-day lives. The morning alarm, fastest driving route to work, finding and booking a nearby restaurant for lunch, or discovering a new Spanish dinner recipe to impress loved ones can now all be done by just a push of a button. Important and secured work data and precious moments captured as images and videos are stored virtually on gadgets.
While playing with his daughter at around 4:50 pm on Aug. 3, Honan found that his phone went dead and, so, started the chain of unhappy events. Honan's initial thought was a software glitch. However, the alarm bells started to ring when Honan could not access his iCloud account. Honan tried using his iPad and MacBook Air and found that the data has been wiped out. Honan describes the entire chain of events on his Emptyage blog.
Honan did not know the extent to which the damage had happed. Along with the iGadgets, Honan found that his Gmail and Twitter accounts were also compromised. His Gmail account's password was reset and someone was tweeting from Gizmodo's account as both his Gmail account and Twitter were linked. Currently, Gizmodo has around half a million followers on Twitter. Honan found that the account was used to post racist and offensive messages.
The question arises on how this entire virtual breakdown happened? Honan informed that the hacker got past Apple's tech support "and some clever social engineering" allowed them to "bypass security questions". Apple is yet to disclose how the erroneous incident occurred.
Honan found that a hacking group called "Clan Vv3" was possibly behind this organized virtual crime.
Honan has restored his iPhone, iPad, and Gmail accounts and, most importantly, his digital life. Apple is still trying to recover the wiped out data from his MacBook. Honan informs that this data is "a year's worth of photos, emails, documents, and more".
Honan's prompt actions along with his work connections minimized the damage which the hacker caused. If this happened to an average iDevice user what support will be given by Apple? What steps should Apple take to ensure such issues are averted in the future? Whether the Cupertino-based firm will eventually take measures to counter such problems is anybody's guess.
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