Sept. 1, 2014 5:52 p.m. ET
Apple Inc. AAPL +0.24% Apple Inc. U.S.: Nasdaq $ 102.50 +0.25 +0.24% Aug. 29, 2014 4:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 40.68M AFTER HOURS $ 102.55 +0.05 +0.05% Aug. 29, 2014 7:59 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 3.91M P/E Ratio 16.45 Market Cap $ 613.76 Billion Dividend Yield 1.83% Rev. per Employee $ 2,214,380 09/01/14 EU Sends Questionnaire to Riva… 09/01/14 Apple Investigating Reports of… 09/01/14 Tech’s Young Guns Embrace Old … More quote details and news » AAPL in Your Value Your Change Short position said it is investigating reports that vulnerabilities in its iCloud service were exploited to hack the accounts of celebrities, leading to the publication of nude photos and videos.
Initial media reports suggested that the hacks stemmed from individual accounts on iCloud, an online service to store photos, music and other data from Apple devices.
“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris in a statement.
A posting on online code-sharing site Github said a user had discovered a bug in Apple’s Find My iPhone service, which tracks the location of a missing phone and allows a user to disable the phone remotely if it is stolen. The bug allowed a hacker to keep trying passwords until identifying the right one.
Most online services lock down an account after multiple incorrect password attempts to prevent this type of so-called “brute force” attacks.
The GitHub post was updated on Monday to read: “The end of fun, Apple have just patched.”
Rich Mogull, chief executive of security research and advisory firm Securosis, said it is plausible that hackers exploited that vulnerability. “We don’t know for sure, but it’s very possible that those are related,” he said.
He also noted that it seems more likely that the hackers broke in through the individual accounts of the celebrities versus breaking Apple’s system. “I would be shocked Apple itself was hacked,” said Mr. Mogull.
Write to Daisuke Wakabayashi at Daisuke.Wakabayashi@wsj.com