Updated 08:49 PM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

FBI Investigating Celebrity Photo Hack

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Apple and the FBI announced on Monday that they are inquiring into allegations that a hacker was able to access numerous high-profile personal iCloud accounts. Within the hacked information, the suspect or suspects were able to obtain a wide variety of nude photographs from stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. The photos were later released to the Internet, creating a firestorm of debate about cyber security.

While the FBI did not comment directly as to what specific actions would be taken to find the hacker, they did make it clear that they were "aware" of the allegations and were already in the process of "addressing the matter."

Apple is also conducting their own interior investigation to determine if their online photo-streaming service, iCloud, was compromised. iCloud is an interesting service because although a photo can be deleted from a physical device, unless it also deleted from the cloud, it will remain there. This being the case, users must always be weary of what photographs are uploaded to the cloud.    

Needless to say, the celebrities who were victimized by the hacker were none too pleased with the situation. Jennifer Lawrence's publicist confirmed in a statement that the photographs were indeed of Lawrence. "This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's publicist Liz Mahoney wrote in the statement. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."

In much of the same way that a wildfire can be tracked back to its initial source, the FBI will be hard at work to catch the supplier. A major issue however, is that the photographs have undoubtedly been copied thousands if not millions of times. The eradication process will be a lengthy affair, with the only the viable method of ends being to sue any website who is found to have the photographs posted.  

Kate Upton's attorney spoke with TMZ  telling the gossip site that the incident was an "outrageous violation" of their client's privacy and that "We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible."

There have been numerous instances of "ex's" seeking revenge against their former partners, which manifests itself in the releasing of nude photographs. This specific instance breaks that mold in the way that the photographs were literally stolen. The chilling message at hand is that unless the user adequately pursues cyber security measures, they are at risk for hacking.

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