In the great OS war between PC and Mac, its seems Mac has the upper hand with the current generation of user who can choose what OS they want to use. In general, those with Macs think they are pretty secure, at least that is what Mat Honan thought. As someone who has loved tablet computing since day one, I have a design background, I have stayed with PC. As a PC user, and amateur hacker from way back, I have learned a very healthy distrust of everything connected to the internet. As such I try my best to keep my system up to date, do not torrent anything, never save my passwords for important accounts and never connect my phone number to anything if I can avoid it. My basic thinking is if one part of my secured internet world falls, I try not to let it be easy to get to other parts of my world, both online and off. Heck I even have a fake persona on the web with a fake name, address, age and even phone number. This does not mean I cannot be hacked, but I do try to follow best practice when I can, including changing my passwords and making sure they are not easy to guess.
I also follow a pretty simple rule when it comes to security questions. I ask myself this.. If one of my past girlfriends ever decides to stalk or me, or get pissed and try to do harm, could they get access to my account by being able to guess my security questions or other information that would normally be considered private.
And I think that is where Mat’s security fell through. Seems the hacker was able to get access to his account through good old fashion social engineering. Because Mat’s iCloud account was connected to everything else, his phone, ipad, computer, twitter accounts and who know what else if the hacker wanted to really work at it, he may have lost everything off his laptop, only just recently got his phone and ipad working, restored GMail and luckily he know someone at Twitter and was able to kill that off. More to come I’m sure. I guess he is lucky his hacker reached out to him. Cant wait to hear more about that.
So what did we learn here? Take online security seriously. DO NOT interconnect all of your account and DO NOT use the same password for everything. Make sure your security questions are ones that only you can answer. There will never be perfect security, but do what you can. Its only going to worse before it gets better.
I hope you can get all your stuff back Mat.