Exploit Allows Users to Continue to Compromise Apple Users' Passwords
March 22, 2013 3:32 PM
All that's needed to reset a password is a user's AppleID, date of birth, and email
Apple, Inc. (
), a company
infamous for weak security
brazen arrogance regarding its safety
, has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons of late. Its policies last year allowed
a huge hack
on Gizmodo blogger and prize-winning journalist Mat Honan, whose Apple accounts were compromised via lax password recovery features.
The hack caused Apple to embark on
a series of security changes
, which made it harder for remote users to retrieve a password that possibly wasn't theirs. The latest step was to install two-step verification, a new process that sends a code to your device.
Apple began rolling out the new two-step authentication (
users' Apple IDs
this week. Users can
Apple's 2-step ID verification.
But unfortunately Apple's own "
" tool remains online, which allows you to reset a user's password that hasn't upgraded to enable two-step validation. All that is needed is a user's Apple ID, email, and date of birth (the Apple ID arguably being the hardest to obtain, but potentially gained through phishing or other methods).
If you have a list of a person's past addresses (freely available via a variety of private investigator databases), you can get a user's Apple ID via a secondary recovery form on the page.
Use the first and last name, plus past addresses to recover the AppleId.
Use the email, recovered AppleID, and birth date to reset the password.
[Image Source: 9 to 5 Mac]
The exploit was
9 to 5 Mac
with the above description of the exploit, pointing curious folks on where to go to try it out.
In an update
reveals more bad news. The site's Chris Welch writes:
Yesterday a number of users were told they'd need to wait three days before enabling two-step verification. As a result, these accounts are fully vulnerable to the exploit. As of right now, the only surefire way these individuals can avoid the security threat is by change their birthdate on Apple's account settings page.
Changing your birthdate to a fake date would stymie users who snagged your birthdate from various public databases or social media sites like Facebook, Inc. (
9 to 5 Mac
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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