It almost doesn't matter if Apple was to blame for the security leak, says an analyst. The damage has been done.
The story had everything going for it. Hundreds of nude photos (some real) of Jennifer Lawrence and other A-list Hollywood celebrities. A security vulnerability (since closed) in Apple’s iCloud. Hackers armed with a new “brute force” attack script. False accusations by amateur detectives on the Internet. Investigations launched by both Apple and the FBI.
Never mind that Apple does a pretty good job of keeping its customers’ secrets safe — better than, say, Google GOOG , which doesn’t control Android hardware and derives most of its revenue from selling user data to advertisers.
For Apple, says Stratechery‘s Ben Thompson, the timing couldn’t be worse.
LINK: Celebrity Photos and iCloud (behind a paywall)
UPDATE: Apple issued a press release Tuesday to say that “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.” An independent investigation by Nik Cubrilovic came to a similar conclusion.