Menu
Entertainment

Nude celebrity photo hacks work of an 'underground ring'

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence

Since the first batch of stolen photos was posted online on Sunday evening, new releases have trickled out over the course of the week.

Posters on anonymous image-sharing boards 4chan and AnonIB claim that the cache of stolen images was assembled by a group of hackers and took "several months of long and hard work by all involved".

Another poster on 4chan has claimed that an "underground celeb n00d-trading ring" that finds these images has "existed for years," with individuals conducting trades with another to "expand [their] collections".

"These guys conduct individual attacks on celebs through (I presume) a mix of social engineering and (esp for more high-profile targets) straight-up hacking," wrote the anonymous tipster.

"The only way to join the ring is by 'buying in' with original pics ("wins", as they call them) you've acquired by yourself.

"[The] circle hardly ever widens to include more people - very few people even find out about this ring, and fewer still have n00ds to buy in with."

The poster suggested that one "self-style 'rich kid'" bought into the trading ring and then "blew the lid on this whole operation by sharing them with outsiders for the first time".

This inspired others to "[come] out of the woodwork offering up some of their collections for donations," leading to the avalanche of images on Sunday evening.

Speaking to The Independent, David Emm, a senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said that the theory was "certainly feasible" and that the motivation for hacking a celebrity was rarely the same as the motivation for hacking a member of the public.

"If someone wants to hack my Facebook the probability is they're not looking at pictures of me but they're looking to spread malware. But for a well-known person or actor or actress there's juicy information that can be found and, of course, the sleaze factor of getting access to private pictures."

Although first-hand anonymous reports like this are impossible to verify, this particular story fits with other fragments of information about what some publications are referring to as 'celebgate'.

Sports website Deadspin claims that they heard about the existence of a large cache of images several weeks ago thanks to a tipster.

"These photos appear to have been floating somewhere in the bowels of the internet one way or another for awhile," writes Samer Kalaf. "We tried contacting our original tipster today with no response."

The theory of a collection gathered over time also fits the wide scope of dates attached to the photos, but the existence of multiple hackers - and subsequently of multiple leakers - makes it impossible to identify what Deadspin referred to as "Pervert Zero" - an original hacker.

US pop star Ariana Grande is among those targeted by the mass hacking - though she claims the picutres are fake.

One individual who posted the images online was identified by 4chan and Reddit users after including identifying information in screenshots used to boast of his collection.

He later told Buzzfeed that he was simply a leaker, and that "the real guy is on 4chan posting intermittently."

Mr Emm confirmed that any hackers involved were far more likely to be keeping as quiet as possible right now.

"The likelihood is that these people always wanted to do it surreptitiously. They wouldn't be hacking accounts and splurging it everywhere - that's the last thing they'd do."

A report from Business Insider suggests that the iCloud hacks (this is Apple's digital back-up service that uploads iPhone images to online servers automatically) are regularly traded online, with hackers either using specialised software or simply abusing iCloud's iForgot password reset tool to gain access to celebrities' accounts.

Security experts' theories on how the hackers gained access to the private photographs echo this version of events.

(The advice to worried iCloud users is make sure they have a strong, unique password for their account and to turn on two-step verification to be doubly safe).

At the moment all of this is speculation, but with the FBI and Apple confirming that they are actively investigating the issue we can certainly expect to hear more about the existence - or non-existence - of an "underground celeb n00d-trading ring" over the coming weeks.  

OTHER TOP STORIES TODAY

Obama: We will degrade and destroy Isis

Career criminal racks up $12,357 in unpaid fines

Rushed trip for cigarette lighter cost four their lives

Samsung unveils curved screen Galaxy Note Edge, VR headset

Malaysia Airlines bucket list promo atrocious says widow

Rental nightmare: Alf's home a squalor

 

Topics:  jennifer lawrence kate upton nude



Missing swimmer on north coast, search underway

HAZARDOUS SURF: Surf lifesavers are pleading with the public to stay out of the water this weekend after one of the biggest rescue days occurred on Saturday and swimmer is still missing on the north coast.

Hazardous surf warning and one swimmer missing

Ute and truck smash on highway

CRASH RESCUE: At 2am on Sunday the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called out to a crash involving a ute colliding with a truck on the Pacific motorway near Brunswick Heads.

Pacific Highway blocked after ute and truck smash

Ferry return to service delayed

No Caption

Service will not resume as expected

Local Partners

Stone the flamin’ crows: Home and Away actor's new project

HE’S played the iconic Alf Stewart for 30 years — but now, Home and Away’s Ray Meagher is working on a new project.

Audience member shocked penis puppeteer

Rich Binning and Barry Brisco from Puppetry of the Penis.

It takes a lot to shock Rich Binning who appears nude on stage

What’s the greatest 1980s movie ever?

That lift, featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, back when she had a normal nose.

From Dirty Dancing and Crocodile Dundee to Die Hard

Jennifer Lawrence flaunts her nudity on set

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of "Red Sparrow" at the Newseum on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Washington. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)Source:AP

Jennifer Lawrence so comfortable on Red Sparrow set, she went naked

Bardot’s biggest secrets finally revealed

L-R: Belinda Chapple, Tiffany Wood, Sally Polihronas, Sophie Monk and Katie Underwood made up Bardot.

Popstars girl group Bardot’s biggest secrets finally revealed

How three Aussie movie-makers lured Helen Mirren

Jason Clarke and Helen Mirren in a scene from the movie Winchester. Supplied by Studiocanal.

It took a lot of work for three Aussies to lure the Oscar winner

Roxy Jacenko: ‘I came over all hot’

Roxy Jacenko and Oliver Curtis have talked about their sex life since his prison release last year. Picture: Aaron Francis.

The pair gave revealing interview about their lives since his release