Monday morning (Sunday afternoon in Hollywood), the biggest leak since Edward Snowden hit the internet. A vast trove of nude pictures purporting to be of female celebrities began to appear on an imageboard website and ricocheted quickly across the web.
The pictures included those of Kate Bosworth, Jenny McCarthy and Kate
Many photos were trashed by the concerned celebs as fakes. But some confirmed it was indeed them. Lawrence's reps released an incensed statement saying this was "a flagrant violation of privacy." Kate Upton's lawyers also released a statement, which said, "This is an outrageous violation of our client's privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating these illegally obtained images." Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead chose to lash out online, saying, "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. Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this."
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BY checking the pics, are you a criminal? Many condemned not just the hacker but anyone who had viewed the pictures as indulging in a criminal act since they were private and stolen goods. Actress and staunch feminist Lena Dunham tweeted in defence of the actresses, "The 'don't take naked pics if you don't want them online' argument is the 'she was wearing a short skirt' of the web. Ugh."
Hollywood goes oops Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton first published the photos, and then, reconsidering, replaced them with censored versions, writing, "No, I haven't been forced to do so, but I am removing those uncensored photos of JLaw and Victoria Justice." However, he later took those photographs down too, explaining, "I acted in haste just to get the post up and didn't really think things through. At work, we often have to make quick decisions. I made a really bad one today and then made it worse. I feel awful and am truly sorry."
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, still remembered for hosting the cruelest Golden Globes ceremony ever, prompted a backlash when he tweeted (and later deleted), "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."
There's more, promises pervy hacker The hacker also posted that he had more explicit content, including a video of Jennifer Lawrence performing a sex act, and offered it up to those willing to pay for it. However, a couple of hours later, apparently not having learnt how the internet works despite perpetuating the internet event of the year, the uploader was unhappy that he hadn't made as much money as hoped given how much 'effort' had been put into the data theft. "People wanted s*** for free", he wrote, and tried to defend his actions saying, "Sure, I got $120 with my bitcoin address, but when you consider how much time was put into acquiring this stuff (I'm not the hacker, just a collector), and the money (I paid a lot via bitcoin as well to get certain sets when this stuff was being privately traded Friday/Saturday) I really didn't get close to what I was hoping."
How safe is cloud storage? Article after article has analysed the security of cloud storage systems as some predicted a mad scramble of people to delete their data. However, it hasn't been proved that the leak was due to an iCloud security flaw. Most tech articles judged their security to be quite robust, and advised users to correct the 'people flaw' — if you won't use the same key for every lock, why use the same password across devices? — with instructions like unique passwords not from personal information like your pet's name, turning off automatic photo syncing to your cloud service, and keeping two-factor authentication processes.
The company was later quoted as saying that it was "actively investigating" any links between the leak and its cloud service. The theft and leak, being considered the biggest nude photo scandal to have hit Hollywood, is now being investigated by the FBI.