The hand of the potential hacker and “collector” behind the 4Chan leaked photos scandal has been partially revealed and the involved celebrities are wanting them tracked down. In the meantime, some people are already suggesting Apple iCloud or a section of Reddit called “The Fappening” should be held accountable by the female celebrities, but is that the end of the story?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence already has the actress planning on suing whoever the culprit may be. Right behind her will likely be a certain Sports Illustrated model, since it’s alleged a Kate Upton sex tape has been leaked, and the supermodel had already threatened to sue websites that created fake nude photos of her using Photoshop. There’s even talk of a Jennifer Lawrence sex tape being out there although the person is demanding money for access.
The entire 4Chan leaked photos collection involves hundreds of videos and photos and apparently not all of it was released over the weekend. The entire list of effected celebrities is very long, but just some of the names include Lea Michele, Aubrey Plaza, Candice Swanepoel, Hillary Duff, Kaley Cuoco, Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Bosworth, Victoria Justice, Emily Browning, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. Not all of the photos and videos depicted nudity or sex. Instead, some were just personal selfies and photos taken while having fun.
Even United States gymnastics star McKayla Maroney had some personal non-nude photos leaked although she points out some people have generated fake nude photos anyway.
the fake photos of me are crazy!! was trying to rise above it all, and not give “the creator” the time of day.. BUT.. pic.twitter.com/hceQcOxYkJ
— McKayla Maroney (@McKaylaMaroney) September 1, 2014
But who is the mysterious figure behind the 4Chan leaked nude photos? Apparently, the original hacker is not the person leaking the photos, but is instead someone who purchased the collection off the hacker(s). Although not much information was left after last night, it appears the person was using an anonymous photo-swapping forum called AnoniB to communicate and left this message.
“I didn’t take the money and run. Sh*t got weird once I started posting samples. AnoniB must have IP blocked me so I was spending all my time trying to find proxies, and then when I could get on this site was being hammered by everyone, and I could even post. I got some private requests through email, but not everyone came through. People wanted sh*t for free. 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 the 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. Mainly because of the extra bitcoin spammers spamming their own address, taking my original posts and passing them off as their own to try and get bitcoin, but also because of the skeptics. I proved I had sh*t, but people wanted more and more for free. Well, $*#@, you can’t get everything for free sometimes. Anyway, back to weird sh*t happening when I posted samples. Someone was tracking me, trying to find me. ISP kept cutting out. Weird emails coming in. Kinda freaked me out and I had to leave for a couple hours.”
This so-called “collector” listed his or her self as “OriginalGuy” and promised to be back this morning, but apparently the flood of incoming 4Chan leaked photos have stopped because people wouldn’t give him or her the desired $40,000. Keep in mind we cannot verify this message came from the actual “collector” or if it was simply someone pretending to be that person, although we can verify that the Bitcoin transaction records show he received only 0.25 bitcoin, which is worth around $120.
The sheer amount of celebrities involved in the leak have even caused some sites to respond proactively by deleting the offending photos as soon as they are discovered. Even Perez Hilton posted the nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence only to retract them with an apology. The folks at Imgur have apparently been working tirelessly, but so have those who pushed the leaks on to the internet.
The most noticeable advocate for spreading the 4Chan leaked photos even further was a section of Reddit calling itself The Fappening. While most other sections, including the subreddit focused on Jennifer Lawrence, immediately started banning the leaked nude photos, the Fappening kept merrily uploading the collection to all corners of the internet. One thing is for certain. It seems odd for most of Reddit to officially condemn the 4Chan leaked photos only to allow the Fappening to remain open. It’s possible the celebrities involved in the scandal may find Reddit accountable.
There’s also already talk of holding Apple accountable since apparently a large number of the photos were leaked due to the hacker breaking into automated iCloud backups pulled from iPhones owned by the celebrities. As we previously reported, this is what was being said on Reddit yesterday.
“Also, this was not a single iCloud that was hacked. This was many dozens of iCloud backups that were downloaded and combed through for personal photos. For many of the photos, the celebrity pictured did not have their account breached—instead, the source was a boyfriend or friend who had the photos sent to their phone which was then backed up and broken into. Many of the photos were actually taken with a laptop or by another person, not a handheld device or by the celebrity themselves.”
But Apple iCloud was not the only source for the 4Chan leaked photos and videos. While this conversation has since disappeared, some people claim the hackers also pulled some of the files from Facebook using a tool called FBToolV2.exe. Some of the celebrities made selfies and it was obvious based upon the smartphone design that they did not own an iPhone. Instead, they were probably using some type of model of Android smartphone.
This means that it’s not only Apple iCloud that was breached. The 4Chan leaked photos collection was probably scoured from a variety of sources, including Google Drive, SnapChat, and DropBox. The extensive nature of the collection also does not preclude the original hackers stealing laptops or phones from the celebrities directly. So attempting to pin the blame solely on Apple iCloud photo backup does not seem reasonable.