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.


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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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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