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Naked photos of Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence leaked

A creep hacker claiming to have intimate pictures of over 100 female celebrities obtained over a long period of time released some of them on Monday ­ including at least 60 of Jennifer Lawrence ­ promising more for money

Monday morning, or Sunday afternoon in Hollywood, the biggest leak since Edward Snowden ­ don't smirk, more people probably saw this one's contents than all that metadata he unleashed online ­ hit the internet. A vast trove of nude pictures, purported to be of dozens of female celebrities, began to appear on an imageboard website and ricocheted quickly enough across Twitter and the web. The pictures included those of America's current sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Bosworth, Jenny McCarthy and Kate Upton. The photos are understood to have been obtained by hacking into the celebs' cloud accounts. The hacker also posted a `master list' of 101 female celebrities, claiming to share their compromising pictures in coming days, parading big names like Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Selena Gomez and Rihanna.

Many of the leaked photos were trashed by the concerned celeb as fakes. Pop star Ariana Grande tweeted, “hell nah.... praying for the people who believed that was me lmaoo... my petite a** is much cuter than that,“ and Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice too, denied the pics were hers ­ “These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now.*pun intended*“.

But others confirmed it was indeed them. Jennifer Lawrence's reps released an incensed statement saying this was “a flagrant violation of privacy . The authorities will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos.“ Kate Upton's lawyers also released a statement, which said, “This is an outrageous violation of our client's privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating these illegally obtained images.“ Horror movie actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead chose Twitter to lash out, saying, “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.“ Kirsten Dunst hit out at the alleged source of the leak with a poop emoji, simply tweeting, “Thank you iCloud“.

THE INTERNET EXPLODES

“It's national Nude leak Day“ ­ a tweet by @Dorseyspocture ­ pretty much summed up Internet Monday . The outrage spread just as quickly as the pictures did while the internet was losing its mind over the massive leak. Twitter began suspending accounts which were posting the pictures, and tweets flew furiously back and forth condemning the massive breach of privacy . Tweets tagged #JenniferLawrence #Justice hoped the Hunger Games star wouldn't be devastated and that her confidence and her career would come out unscathed. Cries of “Dude, what if that was your ister?“ were equalled by the “They `leaked' it on purpose“, “they're actors and everyone sees them naked anyway“ and “if you don't want your naked photos on the internet, don't take your naked photos“ reactions.

IF YOU CLICKED ON THE PHOTOS, ARE YOU A CRIMINAL?

Many condemned not just the hacker, but anyone who had viewed the pictures as in dulging in a criminal act, si nce they were private and st olen goods. An opinion piece in The Guardian said, “Shar ing these images is not the sa me as making a joke including characters such as Doge, Gru mpy Cat and Sad Keanu. It's an act of sexual violation, and it deserves the same social and legal punishment as meted out to stalkers and sexual predators... Actors and other entertainers may certainly offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy .“

Though the “if you saw it, you should be prosecuted“ demand didn't find too many takers, the debate of `yes, it was predictable, but is it their fault?' did. Actress and staunch feminist Lena Dunham tweeted in defence of the actresses, “The `don't take naked pics if you don't want them online' argument is the `she was wearing a short skirt' of the web. Ugh.“ Another Guardian columnist, Hadley Freeman, wrote, “I've seen some comments saying, `If they don't want to have naked photos of them leaked, they shouldn't take naked photos in the first place?!?!?!?!?!' One can only assume that these saintly people have absolutely nothing on their phones, their internet searches, their laptops or any CCTV footage that would make them feel vaguely uncomfortable if seen by the outside world. As for those who genuinely don't understand how this is a sexism issue, ask yourselves why there are almost no men included on the list of celebrities whose privacy has been violated?“

HOLLYWOOD GOES OOPS

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton first published the photos, and then, reconsidering, replaced them with censored versions, writing, “No, I haven't been forced to do so, but I am removing those uncensored photos of JLaw and Victoria Justice.“ However, he later took those photographs down too, explaining that “I acted in haste just to get the post up and didn't really think things through. At work, we often have to make quick decisions. I made a really bad one today and then made it worse. I feel awful and am truly sorry .“

Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, still remembered for hosting the cruellest Golden Globes ceremony ever, prompted a backlash when he tweeted (and later deleted), “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.“ Twitter user Conor McGinley asked, “Where do you store yours Ricky?“ and after infuriated tweets like “Hackers, don't hack into people's private lives.Gervais, stop victim blaming. It was NOT JLaw's fault,“Gervais tried to lighten things up with an `erotic' pic of him self in the bath, but when that didn't work either, he backtracked to “Making a joke about a thing doesn't mean you condone that thing. Of course the hackers are 100% to blame but you can still make jokes about it.“

THERE'S MORE, PROMISES PERVY HACKER

The originator of the leak also posted that he had more explicit content, including a video of Jennifer Lawrence performing a sex act, and offered it up to those willing to pay for it. However, a couple of hours later, apparently not having learnt how the internet works despite perpetuating the internet event of the year, the uploader was unhappy that he hadn't made as much money as hoped given how much `effort' had been put into the data theft. “People wanted s*** for free“, he wrote, and tried to defend his actions by calling himself a “collector and not the hacker“. “When you consider how much time was put into acquiring this stuff (I'm not the hacker, just a collector), and the money , I really didn't get close to what I was hoping,“ he posted.

HOW SAFE IS MY CLOUD STORAGE?!?!

It wasn't just social media that went into an overdrive. While Apple declined to give a comment to anyone, article after article analysed the security of cloud storage systems as some pre dicted a mad scramble of people to delete their data. However, it hasn't been proved that the leak was due to an iCloud security flaw. Instead, most agree it was done by the far slower and far more creepy way of guess ing people's passwords through `so cial engineering' ­ by using infor mation available publicly to guess your passwords, given that most people use easy-to-remember and the same passwords across multiple devices, or by resetting your email account and then answering traditional security questions, etc. Most tech articles judged iCloud security to be quite robust, and advised users to correct the `people flaw' ­ if you won't use the same key for every lock, why use the same password across devices? ­ with instructions like unique passwords not from personal info like your pet's name, turning off automatic photo syncing to your cloud service (which might still have photos after you delete them on your device), and keeping two-factor verification processes.

Apple was later quoted as saying that it was “actively investigating“ any links between the leak and its cloud service.The theft and leak,considered the biggest nude photo scandal to have hit Hollywood, is now being investigated by the FBI.

IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE

In 2011, the email accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera were hacked and several nude photos of them were leaked online. The hacker was arrested a couple of months later.
 
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