FBI Investigate Nude Celebrity Pics Hack

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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US federal investigators have confirmed they are looking into the leak of nude photos of more than a dozen female celebrities

The FBI has confirmed it will investigate the publication of naked photos of more than a dozen celebrities, following a complaint filed by actress Jennifer Lawrence.

The photos of 17 female celebrities were published on image board 4chan on Sunday night, and include snaps of Coronation Street sex symbol Michelle Keegan, Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, Spider-Man star Kirsten Dunst and pop star Ariana Grande.

Michelle Keegan

FBI ‘Addressing the matter’

A spokeswoman for Lawrence called the incident “a flagrant violation of privacy”, and said she had requested an investigation.

On Monday the FBI said it was looking into the leak, saying in a statement that the bureau is “aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals” and is “addressing the matter”.

It’s unclear how the images were obtained. However, metadata indicates the majority of the images were taken using Apple devices, leading some to suggest they were taken from iCloud accounts. iCloud is designed to allow Mac, iPad and iPhone users to synchronise images, settings, calendar information, and other data between devices.

Apple said it is looking into these claims. “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” the company stated.

The company last year added two-factor authentication to iCloud.

Multiple services hacked?

Security experts said that given the number of users affected, the incident could have affected multiple services.

Following a similar incident in 2010, involving actress Scarlett Johansen and others, the FBI conducted an 11-month investigation that eventually led to the arrest of Florida hacker Christopher Chaney. Chaney was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison.

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