iCloud is Suffering from Yet Another Security Issue, This Time in China

By Gerald Lynch on at

Apple's iCloud online storage service is facing another security problem, with a "man in the middle" hacking attack attempting to steal Chinese users' log-in credentials and, ultimately, their saved files.

Chinese users are seeing warning messages pop up when attempting to log into the iCloud.com website, notifying them that they are being diverted from the secure site. Should a user ignore these warnings, they run the risk of entering their credentials into a page where hackers could collect their security information.

“We’re aware of intermittent organised network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously,” reads a post on the Apple support page. Apple goes on to say that users are not affected when signing into their iCloud accounts from iPhones, iPads or Mac computers if using the Safari browser on the latest versions of their operating systems. However it suggests that iCloud users should use the digital certification tools in browsers such as Chrome and Firefox to ensure their log-in details have not been intercepted.

"If users get an invalid certificate warning in their browser while visiting www.icloud.com, they should pay attention to the warning and not proceed,” continues Apple. The Cupertino company has stressed however that its servers have not been compromised.

While Apple has not publicly outed who it believes is responsible for the security breach, Chinese activists have blamed the attack on the Chinese government, which is accused of retaliating against the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Chinese launch -- two devices that allow Apple to encrypt and hide user data from government trackers.

It's the latest in a string of recent worries about the security of Apple's cloud service, following the celebrity hacking scandal that saw private, intimate shots of public figures posted onto the web. It's doubly worrying for Apple which has, with the introduction of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 and above, put greater emphasis on encouraging its users to use iCloud, introducing the new iCloud Drive file browsing functionality.