Apple to add security alerts for iCloud users, says Cook - WSJ

Sept 5 Thu Sep 4, 2014 10:58pm EDT

Sept 5 (Reuters) - Apple Inc is planning additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts in the face of the recent celebrity photo scandal, but denied that lack of security allowed intruders to post nude photographs of celebrities on the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Apple will alert users through email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time, Chief Executive Tim Cook told the Journal in an interview. (on.wsj.com/1puYPl3)

Apple is moving quickly to restore confidence in its systems' security ahead of the crucial launch of its new iPhone next week.

Some companies fear the two-factor authentication could drive users away as it gets too cumbersome. However, Matt Johansen of WhiteHat Security told Reuters that the usability battle will always be there but the users will eventually get along well.

Some security experts faulted Apple for failing to make its devices and software easier to secure through two-factor authentication, which requires a separate verification code after users log in initially.

Apple could also do more to advertise that option, they said. Most people do not bother with security measures because of the extra hassle, experts say, and the leading phone makers are partly to blame.

The iCloud service allows users to store photos and other content and access it from any Apple device. Security in the cloud has been a paramount concern in past years, but that has not stopped the rapid adoption of services that offer reams of storage and management of data and content off smartphones and computers.

Apple was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)