Affidavit: Celebrity photo hacking tied to Chicago address

Affidavit: Celebrity photo hacking tied to Chicago address
In this May 4, 2015 file photo, Jennifer Lawrence arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating "China: Through the Looking Glass" in New York. The trail of a celebrity photo-hacking scandal led the FBI to an unassuming brick home in Chicago, according to recently unsealed court documents, which reveal agents zeroing in on a computer they linked to nearly 600 hacked personal data-storage accounts, some belonging to female stars whose nude photos were leaked online. The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into how nude and sexually explicit photos of celebrities, such as Lawrence, were stolen and posted without permission. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles said no charges have been filed. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

U.S. authorities investigating last summer's celebrity photo-hacking scandal have seized computers and cell phones from a small home in Chicago, according to court documents.

A at the home is linked to nearly 600 hacked personal data-storage accounts, some of which belonged to female stars whose nude photos were leaked online, according to an affidavit unsealed in April. The affidavit identifies eight celebrities by their initials only.

Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI, which is handling the investigation, says no charges have been filed. The lack of charges may indicate the computer's owner could be a victim, too, said Bill Kresse, a cybersecurity expert at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. A computer or its IP address can be hijacked from anywhere in the world, Kresse said.

"Be cautious about what you put on the iCloud," Kresse said, and make sure your passwords are difficult to crack.

The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into how nude and sexually explicit photos of celebrities—such as Jennifer Lawrence, whose initials are not in the affidavit—were stolen and posted without permission.

Last summer's scandal highlighted the vulnerabilities of cloud computing—technology often used to store personal information on the Internet. In September, Apple said its engineers had determined that hackers breached individual accounts and didn't obtain general access to the company's services.


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Citation: Affidavit: Celebrity photo hacking tied to Chicago address (2015, June 10) retrieved 12 November 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-affidavit-celebrity-photo-hacking-tied.html
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