iCloud Hack Leaves Student With Celebs' Numbers
17 April 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
A North East student has exclusively told Capital how she had her iCloud hacked and ended up with various celebrities' phone numbers.
Nicole Dykes, who studies Fashion Journalism at the University of Sunderland, was left stunned after making the discovery while trying to send a message to a friend.
She initially noticed a number of bookmarks on her web browser had changed, but deleted them and didn't think anything else of it.
"Apple emailed me saying someone is using your Apple ID to log onto another Mac, but it wasn't mine.
I was like 'this is strange' so immediately I changed my email address and password but nothing had actually changed on my internet or anything but it was fine and I forgot about it."
It had gone from my head and I was just in bed sending a text on my phone, and I think I was sending a text to my friend Sam, so I put the letter S in and all these contacts came up."
I scrolled through and the first name I saw was Simon Cowell and I had to double take."
I scrolled through all these contacts and thought 'they're not mine, this isn't right' so I thought I'll go through the alphabet because if there is Simon Cowell's there's bound to be a few other celebrities."
There are literally hundreds of contacts and it doesn't make sense."
After the initial shock, Nicole wanted to find out if the numbers were genuine so she could make someone aware she'd been hacked.
You can hear our full interview with Nicole before
In a statement Apple said:
"We couldn't comment without knowing the facts - meanwhile please take a look at our iCloud website that gives advice on how to keep your account secure, particularly the sections on strong passwords and two-step verification."
Will Guyatt, a technology expert, says this is something even he has never come across before.
"I've heard of accounts being compromised before but I've never seen or heard of celebrities' details ending up on a phone like this."
"My assumption is someone has hacked the iPhone owner's iCloud account and has deposited loads of information in there, that's how it's suddenly appeared on a phone overnight and everything has changed."
You can hear his full interview below:
Will's also given us some tips to make sure we don't get hacked:
* Change your passwords regularly
* Go on to the Apple website and read their security advice
* Make sure you have different passwords for your devices
* Don't use easy to guess passwords - 1234 is the UK's still most used password