Apple (AAPL) will alter its system for allowing users to change the password to their account after a hacker managed to gain access to a journalist's Apple account and wreak havoc on his digital life.
The Cupertino tech giant announced the change Wednesday, five days after well-known tech journalist Mat Honan posted a blog explaining that a hacker had gained access to his AppleID using the final four numbers of his credit card account, which he had gleaned from Amazon.
An Apple spokeswoman said the company would temporarily block password changes through
over-the-phone customer support, and strengthen the system when it comes back online.
The hacker managed to remotely erase all of Honan's content off his iPad, iPhone and MacBook, as well as gain access to Honan's Gmail account, his Twitter account and the account of his former employer, Gizmodo.
"In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed," Honan said in a follow-up report for his current employer, Wired.
The hacker was able to use a partial credit card number visible through Amazon to convince Apple customer support to change the password on Honan's AppleID account to one only the hacker -- pretending to be Honan on the phone -- knew.
happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple's and Amazon's," Honan wrote in the Wired piece, adding, "The very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification."
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said Wednesday that the company has "temporarily suspended the ability to reset Apple ID passwords over the phone."
"We're asking customers who need to reset their password to continue to use our online iForgot system," Kerris added. "... When we resume over-the-phone password resets, customers will be required to provide even stronger identify verification to reset their password."
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women