Private Celebrity Privates Leaked

Dylan Kronenberg, Director of Extortion

This past Labor Day weekend hundreds of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton had naked photos plucked from their personal iCloud accounts causing even the FBI to get involved. The hacker, known as “Original guy” on the internet is on the run but he is continuing to update his whereabouts. He described the operation as a group effort of many hackers which is, ‘the result of several months of long and hard work.’ People all over the internet had types of makeshift auctions for the many images. The images were then loaded Like Trading Cards onto the website 4chan where users can anonymously post pictures.

The hacked accounts were most women’s, and they had their personal photos looted from their private accounts. 101 victims in total were listed by the hacker which makes it the biggest hack of this sort ever. Some of the more noticeable victims are Lawrence, McKayla Maroney, Upton, Alana Blanchard, Emily Ratjkowski, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cara Delevingne, Hayden Panettiere, Hope Solo, Jenny McCarthy, Hillary Duff, Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Kirsten Dunst, Lea Michele, Mary Kate Olsen, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Victoria Justice. To compare, in 2012 a man hacked into only Scarlett Johansson’s and Mila Kunis’s online accounts and leaked their nude photos and received 10 years behind bars. “Original guy” and his team hacked into almost 100 more accounts. If found how many years will he spend locked up?

Celebrities and civilians took to twitter to share their own views on the matter.  On August 31, an actress who is a victim in the hacking tweeted “Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked,” wrote actress and model Kirsten Dunst. @kirstendunst also tweeted on Sept. 1 “Thank you iCloud.” Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, @rickygervais on twitter, had a different point of view that he also used Twitter to express: “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.”

Us commoners also shared their thought via twitter. @laurendillonxo tweeted “Major invasion of privacy all these celeb nude leaks.. But it’s so not clever nor classy for a female to take them in the first place. @WeekendBill investigated the comedic side of the nudes: “Today is like Christmas but with celebrity nudes instead of toy trains and remote control cars.”

These nudes are creating tons of opportunities to reevaluate how powerful the internet really is and how some ‘users’ are getting ‘used.’

Is hacking into celebrity accounts and sharing their personal photos with the world right?Another prevailing question is why would someone take naked photos of themselves if they don’t plan to share them. The only way that Original guy and his crew can share these photos online is for celebrities to take these photos in the first place. Depending on who you are, you will respond to these questions differently. But seriously guys, don’t take nudes unless you are over 18 and want to share them, because they spread quick.

Many theories are being tossed around the media about how these A-list celebrities could have had their nude photos released over the internet. The most popular theory is a flaw in the app “Find my iPhone” which could allow a hacker to you ”brute force” to obtain a password to a users Apple icloud account and then the Find my iPhone account. Another theory which is being referred to as “social engineering” in which hackers guess common password techniques like maiden names, childrens’ names, and birthdays of celebrities which are all easily accessible in this day and age. Then if the celebrities use this same password on  a multitude of accounts the hackers can infiltrate celebrity accounts and find naked photos.