Comprehensive piece by Nik Cubrilovic on the celebrity photo theft:
After this story broke I spent some time immersed in the crazy, obsessive subculture of celebrity nudes and revenge porn trying to work out what they were doing, how they were doing it and what could be learned from it.
What we see in the public with these hacking incidents seems to only be scratching the surface. There are entire communities and trading networks where the data that is stolen remains private and is rarely shared with the public. The networks are broken down horizontally with specific people carrying out specific roles, loosely organized across a large number of sites (both clearnet and darknet) with most organization and communication taking place in private (email, IM).
The goal is to steal private media from a targets phone by accessing cloud based backup services that are integrated into iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices. To access the cloud based backup requires the users ID, password or an authentication token.
The deepest and most reasonable piece on the situation I’ve seen.