Apple CEO Says Better iCloud Security Coming Soon

Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company has new security measures ready for its iCloud online services and they'll launch in two weeks. His comments follow a publicity headache stemming from nude celebrity photos stolen from iCloud accounts.

Apple CEO Tim Cook promises more security coming to iCloudApple CEO Tim Cook promises more security coming to iCloud

Mr. Cook said Apple will start sending users email notifications when someone tries to restore iCloud data. The company already sends notifications for password changes, or when someone tries to log into an iCloud account from a new device.

He added that Apple can do more to educate its customers to the threat hackers pose. He told the Wall Street Journal,

When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece. I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That's not really an engineering thing.

Mr. Cook's comments come in response to an incident several days ago where personal nude photos from several celebrities were stolen from online accounts. Many of those photos were pulled from iCloud accounts, raising questions about Apple's ability to safeguard our personal data.

Apple quickly launched an investigation into the incident and said it found that the accounts weren't hacked through security flaws. Instead, the attackers managed to guess passwords and answers to questions that let them reset account passwords.

Mr. Cook said Apple will broaden where its two-factor authentication system is used to help add another layer of protection for its customers. Two-factor authentication requires a password and a temporary code to change account settings. Apple offers two-factor authentication for only some of its services, but that will apparently change soon.

With a big media event coming next week on September 9, it isn't a surprise that Mr. Cook is speaking out now. iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, both expected to be released soon, and both rely more heavily on iCloud than previous OS versions.

iPhone photos, for example, will be stored on iCloud so they're immediately available on any Apple device a user owns. iOS 7's Photostream is a more transient system that stores snapshots for 30 days and isn't intended to be a Camera Roll replacement.

Apple is expected to show off the iPhone 6 and iWatch at its September 9 event, and will likely announce shipping dates for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Thanks to the recent photo thefts, we may get a little online security primer, too.