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Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks



BY ANTHONY MCCARTNEY

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The FBI said Monday it was addressing allegations that online accounts of several celebrities, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, had been hacked, leading to the posting of their nude photographs online.

The agency did not say what actions it was taking to investigate who was responsible for posting naked photos of Lawrence and other stars. Apple said Monday it was looking into whether its online photo-sharing service had been hacked to obtain the intimate images.

Lawrence, a three-time Oscar nominee who won for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook," contacted authorities after the images began appearing Sunday.

Naked images purporting to be of other female stars were also posted, although the authenticity of many couldn't be confirmed. The source of the leak was unclear.

"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's publicist Liz Mahoney wrote in a statement. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."

Jennifer Lawrence's Nude Pic Leak Spawns FBI Investigation

The FBI said it was "aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter."

"Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time," spokeswoman Laura Eimiller wrote in a statement.

Apple Inc. spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company was investigating whether any iCloud accounts had been tampered with, but she did not give any further details.

"We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," she said.

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead also confirmed that nude photos of her were posted online.

"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," Winstead posted on Twitter. Winstead, who starred in "Final Destination 3" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," wrote that she thought the images had been destroyed.

"Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this," Winstead wrote.

The FBI has investigated previous leaks of nude celebrity images, including leaks involving Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and footage of television sports reporter Erin Andrews in a Tennessee hotel room. Those cases resulted in convictions.

How widespread the hacking of celebrities photos was is not immediately clear. Some of the images were quickly denounced as fakes.

Some cybersecurity experts speculated that hackers may have obtained a cache of private celebrity images by exploiting weaknesses in an online image-storing platform.

"It is important for celebrities and the general public to remember that images and data no longer just reside on the device that captured it," security researcher Ken Westin wrote in a blog post Monday. "Once images and other data are uploaded to the cloud, it becomes much more difficult to control who has access to it, even if we think it is private."

Private information and images of celebrities are frequent targets for hackers. Last year, a site posted credit reports, Social Security numbers and other financial info on celebrities, including Jay Z and his wife Beyonce, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher and many others.

Johansson, Kunis and Aguilera were hacked by a Florida man, Christopher Chaney, who used publicly available information to hack into the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry.

"I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed," Johansson said in a tearful videotaped statement played in court at Chaney's sentencing in December 2012.

"That feeling of security can never be given back and there is no compensation that can restore the feeling one has from such a large invasion of privacy," Aguilera wrote in a statement before Chaney's sentencing.

Join the discussion

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wildgypsy46 September 01 2014 at 6:39 PM

Why do people take nude photos of themselves, or permit others to take them and then get upset when these photos surface?

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10 replies
tbplayer44 September 01 2014 at 6:39 PM

Here is a tip to survival in the Digital Age.. if you dont want the picture or video seen, then you dont make them. The ignorance of people addicted to technology is astounding.

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1 reply
rude tbplayer44 September 01 2014 at 9:16 PM

How else are celebs going to satisfy their already overinflated egos?? As if their bodies are any more special than anybody else? You've seen one, you've seen them all. Right Kim??!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
brid1234 September 01 2014 at 7:28 PM

The FBI getting involved in the investigation of celebrity nude photo hacking when they don't always get involved with similar hacking and crimes against the average person appears to smack of favoritism and politics as usual. I am sure they will try to cover and say more than nude photos were at risk, but I don't know that they will convince me.

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10 replies
plewdawg September 01 2014 at 6:33 PM

Dont get naked if you arent ready to be seen!

Flag Reply +34 rate up
1 reply
Sarah plewdawg September 01 2014 at 9:33 PM

plewdawg - maybe that's exactly what they wanted to happen - Wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't paid someone to pick them off & put them in the public view, would you?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
fb723 September 01 2014 at 6:37 PM

Does the FBI do the same for NON-celebrities? or just the FOOs

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7 replies
moradadavislodi September 01 2014 at 6:55 PM

It only makes sense that when you share photos with others they will eventually get out -- right or wrong. Simply DON'T DO IT and you will have nothing to worry about.

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1 reply
screamingeagleaz moradadavislodi September 01 2014 at 10:20 PM

Why should the FBI, at their level, be involved in THIS case? There are many much more important things to investigate then her nude photos. She was probably high on pot when she posed nude, What woman with self-respect and a brain would pose nude to begin with? A woman with any brains would know it would make her vulnerable. The FBI has more important things to do wasting time on this trivial stuff.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
chuckpitboss screamingeagleaz September 02 2014 at 1:36 PM

The FBI is involved because if a hacker can get into a private persons life they may be able to get into secret national security files and that might compromise national security.

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fotograffu September 01 2014 at 6:41 PM

here's a crazy idea. DONT TAKE NUDE PHOTOS OF YOURSELF ON YOUR PHONE IDIOTS

Flag Reply +29 rate up
1 reply
screamingeagleaz fotograffu September 01 2014 at 10:53 PM

Be nude all you want. Just don't do it around cameras.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
animal2605 September 01 2014 at 6:59 PM

Why do people keep taking pics like that with cellphones and or posting them online? What they are doing is asking for something to happen. Havent folks realized that online, these things dont remain private forever?

Flag Reply +17 rate up
eosdistribution September 01 2014 at 8:36 PM

WHY DID THESE IDIOTS HAVE NUDE PHOTOS IN THE CLOUD OR ON THEIR COMPUTERS ANYWAY? ARE THEY REALY THAT LAME TO BELIEVE THEIR SPYWARE PROGRAMS ARE GOING TO PREVENT ACCESS? WAKE AMERICA YOU HAVE BEEN DECIEVED, YOU HAVE BOUGHT THE LIE THAT ANYONE WITH A CONSPIRACY THEORY IS WEIRD AND BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT IS GOOD...WAKE UP...

Flag Reply +13 rate up
3 replies
brisedemer September 02 2014 at 12:18 AM

Boo freakin' Hoo. If you don't want these photos to be seen, DON'T TAKE THEM.

I will never, ever, EVER understand why anyone would post photos of ANY kind on the Internet. Do you envision your mundane, boring, insignificant selves to be so important that you have to plaster your entire life across the web on "social media"?

Newsflash: You Don't Matter.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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