Photos celebrity hack

13.08.2018
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Potential iCloud Hack Sees Compromising Celebrity Photos Leaked

icloudWhether you follow celebrity gossip or tech news, it seems that both genres have collided paths today in what can only be seen as one of the largest leaks of celebrity nude photos. According to multiple reports, it seems that a hacker has been steadily building up a collection of photos of a variety of celebrities and if you’re wondering what’s this got to do with tech, well it seems that they have managed to access these photos by hacking into Apple’s iCloud storage service.

Apple has yet to comment on the allegations that they have been hacked, but according to the reports, it seems that for the most part they were taken from iCloud, or so they claim. For those who are a little fuzzy about Apple’s iCloud services, it’s basically where users can upload and sync data on their phone with the cloud storage service. Not only can it sync your contacts, your calendars, your messages, your notes, but it can also backup your photos.

The hacker did not disclose how they managed to obtain the photos or how they hacked iCloud. According to actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead who was a victim of the hack, she claims that the photos that were leaked were taken a very long time ago and had long been deleted, suggesting that the photos stolen were from a backup service, such as iCloud or somewhere else.

It is also unclear as to how widespread the hack is. Was the hacker only targeting celebrities or were they targeting all Apple users who might have compromising photos or sensitive information in their iCloud storage? We guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this develops.

Filed in Apple. Read more about Hacking, Icloud, Security and Social Hit.

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photos celebrity hack
Apple 'actively investigating' iCloud link to celeb photo leak
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Apple said Monday it is "actively investigating" whether a security breach at its iCloud service was responsible for the leak of several private, nude images of celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lawrence.

"We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told Recode. CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

A large cache of risque images - some said to be real, others fake -- first appeared Sunday on the image-based bulletin board 4chan. The images were said to have been taken from the iCloud accounts of celebrities such as Lawrence, model Kate Upton, and recording artist Ariana Grande, and have since spread across the Internet on social media.

A vulnerability in the online storage service's "Find My iPhone" feature could allow a brute force attack in which multiple, rapid-fire attempts are made to correctly guess an account's password, according to Github. The code-hosting site reported that Apple had repaired the vulnerability.

However, some of the photos appear to have come from different devices and may have been accumulated over a long period of time.

This isn't the first time Apple's online service has been linked to a hacking. In 2012, former Gizmodo reporter Mat Honan blamed an AppleCare technician for allowing his personal e-mail and Twitter accounts to be hacked. Honan said a hacker wiped his devices and gained access to his Gmail and Twitter accounts after an Apple technician fell victim to social engineering, a technique of manipulating people instead of computers to perform a task or divulge information.

Photo hacked celebrities case: FBI seized tech - CNNPolitics

The FBI tracked the source of the celebrity hacking to an IP address linked to Emilio Herrera, who was the target of the federal warrant that was carried out Oct. 16, just over one month after photos of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence were posted online. It quickly became clear that the celebrities' iCloud accounts had been compromised, and Apple had begun looking into the incident.

The IP address linked to Herrera was used to access 572 individual iCloud accounts, many of which "were accounts of celebrities who had photos leaked online," according to the warrant application, which was first obtained by Gawker. Those accounts were accessed 3,263 times from Herrera's IP address.

Herrera is just one of several people under investigation and the FBI has carried out several other searches across the country in connection with the celebrity hack, a law enforcement official told CNN on Wednesday.

"These are a series of unconnected guys conducting relatively unsophisticated hacking," the official said, adding that the individuals were apparently part of a network online where they traded pictures.

The FBI identifies eight celebrities whose accounts were accessed from Herrera's IP address, but only by their initials: "A.S., C.H., H.S., J.M., O.W., A.K., E.B., and A.H."

Photos of Abigail Spencer, Christina Hendricks, Hope Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Emily Browning, and Amber Heard were all leaked online.

The FBI agents petitioned for the warrant noting that there was "probable cause to believe that ... evidence and instrumentalities relating to this criminal conduct ... will be found in the Subject Premises."

FBI agents seized two desktop computers, a laptop, two cell phones, a Kindle Fire, an MP3 player, two micro-SD cards and two floppy disks.

The FBI's Cybercrimes Unit in Los Angeles is carrying out the investigation.

Herrera is 30 and lives with his parents at the Chicago home that was searched by federal investigators in October, according to public records. Several calls to a phone number associated with that address went unanswered Wednesday.

How Perpetrators Of Celebrity Photo Hack Could Be Prosecuted

In the past, hackers have become an infamous part of the Internet, growing bolder and more defying of existing online laws as time goes on. With the recent celebrity photo hack controversy via iCloud, now known as the “Celebgate”, making its rounds, Internet safety hounds believe they’ve stumbled onto to something powerful this time around, in turn placing greater pressure on law enforcers to put an end to these digital pirates.

apple, icloud, celebrity-photo-hack, hackers, photography, online, celebgateJennifer Lawrence © Wikimedia Commons

The recent breach into the iCloud files of celebrities such as Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Brown Findlay and Mary Winstead, among others, has the public both mystified and frightened. It seems that scenario of hackers accessing and proliferating private photographs has now become a reality. Even the FBI has stated that “it is addressing the incident“.

“The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high-profile individuals, and is addressing the matter,” FBI public affairs officer Christopher Allen said in a statement provided to Mashable. “Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.”

apple, icloud, celebrity-photo-hack, hackers, photography, online, celebgateKate Upton © Wikimedia Commons

A representative of Jennifer Lawrence quickly got in touch with authorities soon after the first series of photographs were leaked online. “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” a spokesperson for Lawrence said. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Apple also told Mashable that it will not take the issue sitting down. “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” Apple representatives said.

In an ironic chain of events, Cameron Diaz, who’s currently promoting her new film titled “Sex Tape” about a couple who’s homemade sex video was accidentally distributed to family and friends, voiced a similar sentiment of the need to punish those responsible for the “Celebgate” scandal. “Whoever has done it, they will be caught and made examples of. This can happen to anyone. If these guys can do it to this group of people then everyone’s vulnerable to it.” she told the Daily Mail.

apple, icloud, celebrity-photo-hack, hackers, photography, online, celebgateMary Beth Winstead © Wikimedia Commons

Analysts say we’ve become too soft with hackers in the past, but this time experts agree the hackers and those who leaked the private images of the Hollywood celebrities fallen into a legal minefield. Breaking into a person’s iCloud is analgous to breaking and entering into home. It’s the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s digital version of burglary. The term for this is “wire fraud”, which convicted a number of criminals in the past who hacked into things like banking websites and stoled staggering amounts of money. Cyber-law experts believe prosecutors can also use this to battle the hackers responsible for the iCloud breach.

Since they have distributed these photographs online without prior consent from the aggrieved parties, hackers have also violated another law: the Fraud and Abuse Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prohibits people from tampering and intercepting private digital files and communications.

An anonymous AnonIB user, who many believed to be the “original leaker,” pointed out the involvement of numerous other hackers. “Guys, I didn’t do this by myself,” he or she wrote. “There were several other people who were in on it and I needed to count on them to make this happen.”

Of course, the biggest question is if U.S. Authorities would have jurisdiction if the hackers are found to be operating outside of the United States. “The biggest problem in all of this is, who are these people and can you get jurisdiction over them in a U.S. court?” Jay Kesan, a cyber law professor at the University of Illinois, told Mashable. “The court may have no ability to exercise its power over them.”

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