“How Did The Hacker Obtain Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Photos?”
Jennifer Lawrence, 24, is best known for her lead role in the, book adapted trilogy, entitled The Hunger Games. She has since taken role of Raven/Mystique in the X-Men series and has also been seen alongside Bradley Cooper in multiple hits such as ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’. She refuses to loose weight for any of her roles since she doesn’t want to encourage young girls to ‘skip dinner’ to achieve her slim figure. (Starving yourself really is unhealthy and instead experts suggest eating healthier plant based foods while also doing regular exercise!) She also famously tripped over on her way to collect her Oscar award and then did the same thing a year later!
On August 31st 2014 Jennifer Lawrence and a mixture of other celebrities had their private photos leaked online through anonymous image boards such as ‘4Chan and AnonIB‘ and later spread into Reddit where the sub reddit /r/TheFappening (combination of ‘The Happening’ and ‘Fap‘) blew up making it the official name (other than ‘CelebGate’).
The original leaker claims that he has more photographs and that this is only the beginning of ‘The Fappening’. Some of the leaked photos were faceless meaning redditors quickly tried to identify who they were by matching up clothing and marks. Many redditors began storing the photos away on online hard drives (Dropbox, Google Drive) and even offline hard drives.
The search term ‘Jennifer Lawrence Photos’ and ‘The Fappening’ had been searching over 5 million times that day with the original leaker hinting that he had videos that he would release. He even went as far as to tease Reddit with a screenshot of the video thumbnails on his desktop. Jennifer’s representatives spoke out to say:
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy, the authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Multiple celebrities spoke out such as Emma Watson (‘Harry Potter’ star, Hermione) who said ‘Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.’ however some are very pleased by the situation and are begging the original leaker to post the explicit videos of Jennifer Lawrence.
“How was Jennifer and hundreds of other celebrities hacked and why did they do it?”
Nobody knows for sure how and why the photos were leaked however there has been a few pretty convincing theories. One user believes this was part of a ‘deep web’ black market for celebrity nudes that would sell for hundreds and thousands of pounds. You can only gain access if you have ‘celebrity nudes’ to share but then somebody rich came along and leaked all of the photos possibly to create hype for the ‘videos’ that he can then sell for bitcoins. They could have been stealing photos for the past few years without anybody knowing building up a large archive of celebrity nudes. It looks as if this is only the beginning of ‘The Fappening’. CBC later poorly attempted to cover the story stating that ‘4Chan’ was the name of the hacker.
So HOW did they do it? iCloud. It’s a built in software that comes with Apple products giving users the ability to back up their data to encrypted online databases. This means if you lose your device or it breaks you won’t lose your data with it. It’s similar to ‘Angry Birds‘. If you lose your phone you lose your score however if you lose your phone and you were playing a game such as ‘Candy Crush Saga‘, that required you to create your own account, all your data in saved onto your personal account online rather than the files on your iPhone. Another feature called ‘photo stream’ will sync your photos to all of your other apple devices through the iCloud for easy accessibility.
The hacker would have needed to obtain two pieces of information from Jennifer Lawrence. Her email and her password. It could have been that Jennifer Lawrence was ‘phished’ with a dodgy e-mail posing as Apple and when she logged in they swiped her information. They could have ‘brute forced‘ her Apple ID/iCloud account which consists of a program quickly attempting thousands of different passwords from a basic password list which contains every word in the dictionary plus numbers. That’s why you see more and more websites requiring that you include uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Once they have access to their iCloud account they can then ‘rip’ their backup from their account using a piece of software called ‘EPPB‘ which retrieves lost iCloud backups. Another method, heavily used by Kevin Mitnick, is ‘Social Engineering’ which could have been used to retrieve her security questions. This confirms that it was not a security breach on Apple’s behalf (as mention in this statement.)
“Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.” – Emma Watson (@EmWatson)
It’s best if your password is a random string of letters and numbers with a variation of uppercase and lowercase characters (eg. G7R&hRR33d£). If you still use a password that contains a word followed by an important date or number (eg.katie1992) then change it now. Please! See how secure a password is by clicking here!
Many are worried that this will give politics and the government reasons to enforce privacy laws that have before been heavily apposed against. This could be perfect ammo for cases such as ‘SOPA/PIPA‘ (which claimed to ‘Stop Online Piracy’) which was protested against by large websites like Google and Wikipedia. The video below by SourceFed (owned by Phillip DeFranco) does a good job of summing up ‘the fappening’.
This isn’t all bad though since one user in ‘The Fappening’ Reddit community created a donation page on the official PCF to raise money for prostate cancer. ‘The Fappening’ is currently the Top Fundraiser with over ‘$5,600’ donated over the last two days (and raising rapidly). Jennifer Lawrence is said to be a supporter of ‘PCF’ since she recently made a donation herself. EDIT: PCF refunded all the users who donated under ‘The Fappening’ stating that the money was raised unethically.
Speak of the devil. 3 days later, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s new movie ‘Sex Tape’ was pushed into cinemas which follows a similar story line to what has happened. Jennifer Lawrence could be in on this as a massive ‘viral marketing‘ scheme! Okay…probably not.
I was personally a huge fan of the hunger games books in 2012 and can’t wait for the last books adaption. I loved the book’s however I’m interested to see a visual depiction of the stories. It’s also been rumored that Lionsgate is demanding hunger games prequels due to the trilogy’s success.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
1. Don’t take nude photos.
2. Don’t enable ‘photo stream’.
3. Don’t login unless you are sure you are on an Apple certified website.
4. Use a secure password. (more like passcode)
In all reality she’s probably crying alone at home wishing she’d never taken the photos and feeling ashamed and embarrassed #SupportJenniferLawrence. What do you think of ‘The Fappening’ (also known as 8/31)? Leave a comment below or tweet me!
20th September UPDATE:
On September 20th 2014 (20 days later) another leak of photos has occurred with over 100 photos being released this time. Since the original leak many more celebrities have been added to the list however Jennifer had no new leaks until now. There are still no reports of videos being released and all sub reddits regarding ‘The Fappening’ have been taken down.
21st September UPDATE:
4 videos of Jennifer have been leaked however they’re NOT nude videos excluding one that had already been leaked as a gif.
23rd September UPDATE:
After Emma Waton’s gender equality speech she received threats that her nude pictures would be leaked on ‘EmmaYouAreNext.Com’ which features a countdown to the 27th September. She had been supporting Jennifer after the initial leak but had stated that she had never taken any nude photos of herself.
25th September UPDATE:
The Emma Watson site was a clever viral marketing site used to rack up 48 million visitors. The website count down has gone and a ‘sign a petition’ box has appeared asking Obama to remove 4Chan to prevent nude leaks. The company known as ‘Rantic Marketing’ hired by the celebrities. The only problem with their website is that 4Chan didn’t cause the nude leak. It’s simply a place to anonymously post them. If #ShutDown4Chan works they’ll just post them on another anonymous image board. Very clever Rantic but at the same time not clever.
28th September UPDATE:
The Emma Watson website has been hacked by ‘Le 9Gag Army’ playing silly music and showing silly photos. This could be Rantic trying to gain more views though.
29th September UPDATE:
The website is back up and running and seems to be promoting a campaign to feed the homeless. It’s asking users to upload a video of themselves ‘feeding the homeless’ and 5 videos will receive $100 to feed the homeless. The whole ‘website hacked’ would have probably been created to build more drama among news outlets.
6th October UPDATE:
Rantic is down for maintenance.
7th October UPDATE:
Jennifer makes her official statement within a ‘vanity fair’ interview.