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Apple iCloud hack raises questions ahead of big release

Kevin Chupka
Executive Producer/Writer

Celebrities are just like us, they get hacked too! The problem: It’s not just their credit card info from Target that is compromised but, at least this past weekend, some of their most private photographs for all the world to see.

This latest hack was of Apple’s iCloud system, a place it seems even some of Hollywood’s elite thought safe enough to store such photos. For their part Apple says it was individual users that were hacked, not Apple’s system. Seems like splitting hairs.

“I think it was an opportunistic hack,” says Yahoo Finance’s senior columnist Mike Santoli. “It doesn’t seem like it was a structural thing that got right to the bottom of Apple.” Santoli notes however that such a distinction may not be made by Apple consumers.

Related: Plenty of people around the world want a new iPhone

The hack, or at least the result of it, comes just days before Apple is rumored to announce a new payments program that will allow consumers to use their iPhone as they would a credit card.

The technology which, most likely, uses an NFC (near field communications) chip has long been a concern for those worried about privacy.Does the iCloud incident prove you should keep you information away from Apple?

“The payments thing was going to be an uphill battle in the first place,” Santoli says. “It’s one thing to keep your card on file with Apple because you’re buying stuff from them as opposed to making it a more general online wallet.” He adds that such a payments program amounts to a new “Paypal” which is something consumers simply don’t perceive a need for.

The real issue then, brought into stark relief with the latest high profile hack, is finding an entirely new way to protect data.

Related: Apple's stock price signals 'a big move is coming'

We’ve seen time and time again that the archaic password system simply doesn’t work. Double authentication has been adopted by some (probably those that have already been victimized by hackers) but it still doesn’t get at the root of the problem.

Apple then, with it’s new payments system, has the opportunity to be first in line with a new way to protect consumers. The question is, will they seize that opportunity. “I doubt apple is right there,” Santoli notes hoping that, “in a few years you’re going to be looking back at the password era and feel like it was a complete archaic thing.”

Is it biometrics? Voice recognition? Facial recognition? Who knows but one has to believe there’s a race going on behind the scenes of the biggest names in tech to be the first to figure it out.

What do you think would be an effective replacement for the password? Let us know below, on Facebook or on Twitter @YahooFinance

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