Celebrity Photo Hack: Has FBI Found Those Responsible For Leak Of Jennifer Lawrence, Hope Solo Nude Photos?
Remember that massive celebrity photo hack that was dubbed “The Fappening” and “Celebgate” by the media? Hundreds of nude photos of famous women (and a few men) were leaked online late last year, and they got passed around on websites like Reddit and 4chan. The leaks eventually slowed down, and salivating internet pervs gradually gave up on their quest to convince the hackers responsible to share even more nude photos. As it turns out, the nude photos that ended up online may have only been the tip of the iceberg.
According to Gawker, the FBI recently discovered that close to 600 iCloud accounts were breached by whoever was responsible for the celebrity photo hack. It’s also possible that the FBI has finally caught one or two of the hackers responsible for stealing the nude photos of stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton — the contents of a federal search warrant and related affidavit reveal that the FBI searched the home of a Chicago resident named Emilio Herrera last October, and what they found was very suspicious.
Emilio Herrera’s IP address was reportedly used “to access approximately 572 unique iCloud accounts,” and many of these accounts belonged to celebrities and their friends and family members. It’s important to point out that Herrera still isn’t considered a suspect, and he hasn’t been charged with a crime. The FBI also investigated an unnamed hacker at another Chicago address who accessed 330 different iCloud accounts. It’s unknown if there’s any connection between Herrera and the other unnamed hacker.
An FBI spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times that the celebrity photo hack investigation is still ongoing, and no criminal charges have yet been filed. As PC Magazine points out, there are prosecution hurdles in hacking cases — the FBI can only connect the crimes to IP addresses, not actual people. However, PC also points out that those responsible for the hacking did make it easier for the authorities to track them down by failing to hide their IP addresses. This seems to indicate that they aren’t very sophisticated hackers, so perhaps they made other incriminating rookie mistakes.
Those responsible for the celebrity photo hack reportedly used simplistic phishing email scams and password resets to gain access to victims’ iCloud accounts. An affidavit reveals the identities of a few of the Celebgate victims, and Gawker believes that the women referenced are Abigail Spencer, Amber Heard, Anna Kendrick, Christina Hendricks, Emily Browning, Hope Solo, Jennette McCurdy, and Olivia Wilde.
According to the Sun-Times, one affidavit describes Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction to being victimized by the hackers. It says that she became “very distraught” while an FBI agent was interviewing her about the nude photos, and she said that she was having an anxiety attack. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jennifer Lawrence responded to The Fappening by labeling the hackers’ actions a “sex crime.” She also felt the need to explain why she took nude photos.
“I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”
Hope Solo also issued a response to the celebrity nude photo hack.
“It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the rights of so many women were violated by the unauthorized release of private photographs,” she wrote on a Facebook post. “This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency and, as such, I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy.”
Even though The Fappening ended long ago, many stars have likely been living in fear that the celebrity nude photo hackers weren’t finished leaking photos and videos. Luckily for Hollywood, it looks like the FBI is finally getting close to taking down those responsible for this massive invasion of privacy.
[Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty]