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The FBI is now leading the investigation into the alleged iCloud hack in which nude photographs of a number of celebrities were obtained, reports the Telegraph. FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller said:

[The FBI is] aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.

It has been suggested that a vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed attackers to brute-force passwords in order to access the iCloud accounts of celebrities … 

The FBI previously ran an investigation leading to the prosecution of Christopher Chaney, who was jailed for ten years after posting naked photos from the phones and computers of Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and other celebrities. In that case, Chaney hacked email accounts and set them to forward copies of incoming mail to an account he created.

Reddit sleuths, meantime, accused Southern Digital Media sysadmin Brian F Hamade of being the man who leaked the photos. This was based on the same drive names appearing on a screenshot posted by the leaker and ones on an old Reddit post by Hamade.

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Hamade has this morning denied the claims in an interview with Buzzfeed, claiming that he did post the screenshot but that it was Photoshopped.

“I am not behind this. It was so stupid — I saw a lot of people posting the actual leaks and bitcoin addresses and I’ve read a lot about bitcoin and how they are valuable and I thought, oh cool I’ll get free bitcoins,” he told BuzzFeed. “I am just an idiot who tried to pull one over on 4chan and lost big time.”

Hamade has taken down his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and Southern Digital Media has taken its entire site offline. As the Telegraph cautions:

The detectives of Reddit have leapt to conclusions many times before, most famously accusing a missing university student of being behind the Boston bombings. The student, Sunil Tripathi, had in fact killed himself some time before but his body was not found until ten days after the bombing.

Apple has so far limited its public response to a one-sentence statement: “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

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16 Responses to “FBI investigating alleged iCloud celebrity hack as Reddit ‘suspect’ declares innocence”

  1. s1h4d0w says:

    Reddit suspect? 4chan suspect you mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Jr. says:

    People on Reddit are often mob like in mentality. Scary almost, the digital angry mob of the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jeffmaxindc says:

    Say what you will about digital mobs, but the FBI would have taken months to find that. Even if he isn’t the actual leaker, he’s a reasonable suspect that the FBI will be chatting with thanks to digital sleuths.

    Crowd sourcing detective work – I like it.

    Like

  4. Even if he’s not the leaker, he’s not innocent. He shared private pictures without the consent of the owners.

    Like

    • Jassi Sikand says:

      I don’t know if that is and of itself is a crime.

      Like

      • Yes. It is a crime.. Similar to selling stolen goods. You didn’t steal them yourself but you bought them off of a guy who stole them. You aren’t prosecuted AS badly as the person who stole them but you’re still prosecuted. Its sad that you think it’s NOT illegal to do that. Seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Lindsay in this case, sure. A person isn’t prosecuted for that if they are found to be unaware they are stolen. That’s ridiculous. If someone bought something on Craigslist or eBay which was stolen, but they are obviously completely unaware of that, they’ve done nothing illegal, and couldn’t be prosecuted.

        Like

      • Possesion and Posting of pictures from a private account where you do not have permission falls under Cyber Crime. Not knowing that the pics were from a private account does not mean that you won’t be prosecuted. That is up to the assigned prosecuter. The more obvious it is that the pics were taken from a private source, the less the possessor can claim innocence. If the poster then makes a profit (does not have to be money) by posting the pics, he then opens him/herself up to other charges AND lawsuits (remember the monetary amount awarded to the families that sued OJ after the criminal trial?

        As for 10 years for hacking e-mail accounts, he got that time because cyber crime is a federal crime and they took into account the number of e-mail accounts he hacked.

        Like

  5. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    I hope they get the person behind this cloud services breach and throw them in jail for messing with people’s privacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 10 years for hacking emails (previous referenced case)? The US justice system is completely out of whack.

    Like

    • It sure is. That’s really sad. I guess that person and someone else that sold a little pot can become friends in prison. Meanwhile there are murders or the like that sometimes hardly get much longer than that. Great job guys!

      Like

  7. This part is going to be sooooo entertaining. Get your popcorn, folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jay says:

    Posting Reddit drama as if it was news … seriously?

    Like

  9. Eric Schiff says:

    There’s currently a Gofundme campaign to raise money for Hamade’s legal defense. http://www.gofundme.com/e590v4

    Like