A leak that started as the latest round of personal pictures hacked from celebrities’ phones turned Monday into a vast invasion of the privacy of actress Jennifer Lawrence and a handful of others, and a kind of festival on Reddit, 4chan, and other online spaces, with continued release of pictures and videotape purporting to be taken from stars including Lawrence, Kate Upton, Lea Michele, and more.
The extent of the leak, with dozens of incredibly personal photos and a few short videos, was unanticipated even by some of the people at its center, hitting all corners of fame from athletes to American Idol contestants.
One publicist told BuzzFeed Sunday she was hoping the leak would stop with one photograph of her client, only to see a half dozen more make the rounds the next night.
The group of posters sharing, speculating on, and celebrating the invasion of the women’s privacy began gathering on 4chan but coalesced Monday on a subreddit called The Fappening, where hundreds of Redditors have taken to posting and commenting on all of the pictures, gifs, video screengrabs, and intel they’ve collected, and tens of thousands more stood by as viewers.
Yet despite some of the pictures being authenticated, others still tried to slip in fake content, like in the case with a quickly debunked sex tape starring a Jennifer Lawrence lookalike.
Apple has admitted it is ‘actively investigating’ claims that a flaw in the ‘Find My iPhone’ function of its iCloud service may have helped a hacker to steal nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and ‘100 other celebrities’.
Nearly 24 hours after the publication of the images of Sunday night, Apple finally issued a statement, but the tech giant couldn’t say how the alleged breach occurred and didn’t offer any guarantee to its hundreds of millions of customers worldwide that the service is safe to use.
‘We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,’ Apple spokeswoman said.
However, despite not admitting the bug was caused by its system, the tech giant today quietly issued a ‘patch’, or fix, for the alleged ‘Find My iPhone’ bug some claim is responsible.
The hacker claims he or she broke into stars’ iCloud accounts, including those of the Hunger Games actress, Kate Upton and Rihanna, before publishing them on 4chan, the image-sharing forum.
A list of the alleged victims of the hack – a staggering 101 in total – has also been posted online; most of whom have not seen any photographs leaked by the hacker.
And in a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the FBI confirmed that it had begun an investigation.
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