Sunday was abuzz with ‘The Nude Photo Leak’ of 101 Hollywood celebrities on 4Chan website by hacker Perez Hilton who was able to access their mobile phones and copy their risqué photos reportedly due to an iCloud leak. He posted them on 4Chan website and, of course, deleted them later in the evening under pressure, though legal action is not likely to spare him.
Mirror said there are 101 names in the master list including Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kaley Cuoco, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Hilary Duff, Vanessa Hudgens, Teresa Palmer, Kate Bosworth, Michelle Keegan, Victoria Justice, Emily Browning and more posted on the image-based bulletin board of 4Chan website and 60 semi-nude photos of Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence alone, reports said.
The hacking could be by those with access to celebrities’ phones. Also it could be due to a flaw in Apple iCloud’s security wall or that it was automatically sending the deleted photos elsewhere for secret storage. Another explanation was that close relatives or friends with access to phones of celebs could have passed on these photos for a price. Now, a sort of computer code that repeatedly guesses passwords has been found online, making it easy for anyone to hack the passwords of celebrties or comoners alike.
The software posted on GitHub (https://github.com/), forced Apple to issue an urgent "patch" to fix the bug, but the damage has been done anyway. Morror report said the software script uses the top 500 most common passwords approved by Apple and hackers used it to gain access.
Jennifer Lawrence has filed a complaint with the police and her representative said: "This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."
Mary Elizabeth Winstead tweeted: "To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves… Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked."
The question is how safe is our big names Apple’s iCloud, Instagram, Google or Facebook, which prompt users to upload pictures into social networking sites. Will they take responsibility when unsolicited pictures get leaked? None of them do and they rejoice such leaks.
The best solution is that all users of mobile phones and social networking sites should be careful not to trust them as most of them including Apple and Instagram are never foolproof.
Otherwise, 4chan, started in 2003 by Christopher Poole when he was 15, has grown into a huge pool for online anaonymous posting of photos. It reportedly has 22 million unique visitors and 500 million page views per month.
Several publications have done a profile on him, including TIME, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Technology Review, Vanity Fair, to name a few. Perez Hilton, a celebrity-tracking blogger who turned hacker, has apologised for publishing naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence.