UPDATED: Apple Releases Statement
CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — A flurry of nude celebrity photos flooded the Internet’s nefarious back alley known as 4Chan Sunday night, showing the alleged nether-regions of such A-listers as Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Mary Kate Olsen, Selena Gomez, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, Krysten Ritter, Hope Solo, Kirsten Dunst, and many more.
Some of the photos now popping up on Twitter and other social networks are fakes, but many are legitimate pictures, triggering Lawrence’s staff to issue a statement to TMZ confirming the legitimacy of the photos, and calling for prosecution, saying, “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
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Scream queen actress Mary Winstead wrote on Twitter, “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”
Upton’s attorney called the breach an “Outrageous violation” of privacy and is also demanding prosecution.
The source of the photos appears to be an incursion into Apple’s iCloud online storage system, according to posts on 4Chan. Storing photos in the cloud is simple, easy, and a good way to backup those memories, but it also can apparently make them available to hackers.
Internet security blogs including The Next Web say it appears Apple has patched what could have been a flaw allowing a “brute force attack” where hackers repeatedly guess a password to access someone’s account via the “find my iPhone” feature. After that, they were able to get into the accounts that automatically stored photos and data.
Apple responded to CBS San Francisco’s emails and phone calls Monday afternoon with a statement saying, “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”
Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris was unable to confirm at this point what security analysts are writing about the patch and the cause.
In a similar case of hacking back in 2012, the culprit was found and sentenced to ten years in prison.
While entertainment sites are exploding with sidebars and photo galleries depicting the stars in g-rated photos as they look with clothes on, others did post the nude photos. Perez Hilton put them up, and then later took them down.