Apple’s iCloud is reportedly under attack in China, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that suggests data may already be in the hands of hackers. One expert explained to the news outlet that, whoever initiated the attack, used a “man in the middle” approach that stands between users and the iCloud servers, potentially giving them access to data sent between the two, such as passwords and other private data.
While the attackers are unknown, one expert described it as “sophisticated” and suggested that it spans across various ISPs inside China. There are fears that the Chinese government may have involvement in the attack, due to the extensive knowledge required to carry it out. “The attackers are more professional in this case, and could be the work of a group, a syndicate or even nation-state sponsored,” a security expert for F-Secure told The Wall Street Journal.
In August, Apple caved to China’s security concerns about its iCloud systems. China had accused Apple of potentially using iCloud to spy on its citizens and Apple agreed to allow China Telecom to host the data instead. China Telecom is a state-owned carrier, so it seems suspicious that the Chinese government would attempt to hack it. As another researcher suggested to The Wall Street Journal, it’s possible it was an attacker with “more limited resources.”