So, by now you’ve all probably have already heard about the supposed massive #iCloud (Apple’s virtual storage service) hack which exposed nude pictures of several A-list Hollywood celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, and sent shockwaves through Hollywood and around the globe.
Well, here’s the thing: There are now suspects.
At least one person, who is referred to by other 4Chan posters as the “Original Guy” and therefore chief hacker, has come out to say that yes, he was behind it all. The anonymous individual organised the theft of the private nude pictures and later sparked the scandal over the weekend by dumping dozens of them onto 4Chan. He/she later took to the “deep web” where the images were first posted to say that he’s on the run:
As seen in his/her comment above, he/she is attempting to eva the authorities and confirmed that he/she would be relocating as he/she thanked “supporters” for sharing the images on AnonIB (an anonymous image board) before they were reposted on 4Chan. The hacker also appeared to confirm that the hacking was a conspiracy involving more than just one individual and “the result of several months of long and hard work”.
Also, a gang of internet sleuths claimed to have tracked down another man responsible for stealing and then leaking the images, Bryan Hamade, a 27-year-old software designer from Georgia. The smoking gun that revealed his identity was a screenshot of a computer folder filled with the hacked images, which accidentally displayed the hard drive and network drive names.
However, he has vehemently denied the claims, said it was simply his attempt to cash in on the scandal (by selling images of Jennifer Lawrence for USD100 each) that backfired, and that he was not the original hacker despite these findings by other 4Chan users:
He told BuzzFeed:
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. I am just an idiot who tried to pull one over on 4chan and lost big time and stupidly left this identifying information. They took my proof and back traced it – it isn’t remotely true. I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts.
It’s been a nightmare and I haven’t slept in 34 hours, now. 4chan users are harassing me with non-stop phone calls and emails. They email me constantly, emailing saying they’ll hack my personal websites and keep calling my phone, calling me a fag and then hanging up. They also said they’ll hack my mom’s site, so I took it down They were posting comments on my YouTube channel and some were praising me as some guru for leaking photos – I don’t want praise for that, especially since I didn’t do it. I really had nothing to do with it.
I regret it so much. I didn’t even get any bitcoin out of it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will since it’s just the biggest news story.
He was reportedly speaking on the phone with BuzzFeed while driving around trying to find an open law office so he could hire a lawyer because he and his family have been harassed by 4Chan users since his allegedly Photoshopped post went live.
Wait, did someone not warn this guy about the 4Chan peeps?
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence has reported the stolen images to the authorities, and the FBI is investigating amid an international hunt for the hacker. The FBI confirmed that investigations had begun in a statement which read, “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.”