Apple is planning additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts in the face of the recent celebrity photo scandal and will aggressively encourage users to take stricter security measures, CEO Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
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, the report said.
Apple is moving quickly to restore confidence in its systems' security ahead of the crucial launch of its new iPhone next week.
Cook said Apple will broaden its use of the two-factor authentication security system to avoid future intrusions, the Journal reported. The two-factor authentication requires a user to have two of three things to access an account, which may include a password, a separate four-digit one-time code, or a long access key given to the user when they signed up for the service.
The iPhone maker said it plans to more aggressively encourage people to turn on the two-factor authentication in the new version of iOS, the daily reported.
"The usability battle will always be there but could you ever imagine using your debit card at an ATM and not entering a pin? That's two factor, something you have (a card) & something you know (a pin), and we all get along just fine," WhiteHat Security's Matt Johansen told Reuters. Apple said on Tuesday the attacks that emerged over the Labour Day weekend on celebrities' iCloud accounts were individually targeted, and that none of the cases it investigated had resulted from a breach of its systems.
Some security experts have 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.
Supplier accused of abuses
Meanwhile, in Beijing, a Chinese factory that supplies Apple with parts has been operating with violations of basic standards for health, safety and environmental protection, an investigative report said on Thursday.
China Labour Watch and Green America itemised their findings in a 25-page report based on an investigation in August of a Catcher Technology plant in the city of Suqian.
Asked about the report, Apple said that it audits the plant regularly and works with its operators to raise standards and implement best practices.
"Apple is committed to ensuring safe and fair working conditions for everyone in our supply chain," the California-based maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers said in a statement.
"Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple. We know our work is never done, and we are devoted to constant improvement," it further added.
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