In the original 4chan thread where the hacker first posted the images, the consensus was that Apple's iCloud service was to blame. But how likely is it that Apple's encrypted cloud service led to the mass hack, and what are the other ways that the nude photos could have emerged? The original leaker behind the celebrity photos claimed that they accessed the images using the iCloud accounts of various celebrities. It's unlikely that someone has broken into Apple's iCloud service. Instead the photos most likely emerged due to a type of hacking known as "social engineering.
Celebrity Nude Photo Leaks
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Hundreds of intimate pictures of female celebrities, including Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence, were leaked overnight after being stolen from their private collections and posted on infamous web forum 4chan. In the aftermath of the incident, a spokesperson for the actor released a statement to Buzzfeed terming the actions of the hacker a "flagrant violation of privacy". Lawrence's team also cautioned any party that was considering posting the images online. According to Mashable , a number of Twitter users have already had their accounts suspended for sharing the images. How the pictures were obtained remains unconfirmed, but anonymous 4chan users claimed that they were drawn from celebrities' iCloud accounts. Lawrence herself had complained about the iCloud service, which allows iPad, iPhone and Mac users to synchronise images and other data between devices, in an MTV interview earlier this year. The images were uploaded to 4chan, the anonymous image sharing website, by users offering more explicit material in exchange for paypal and bitcoin payments. Within hours the photos were being shared on Twitter, and a so called 'Master List' has since circulated, identifying the other stars allegedly targeted in one of the biggest mass breaches of celebrity privacy in history.
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