The culprits who hacked into Apple iCloud accounts to steal nude photos of Hollywood stars could face dozens of federal charges, including distributing child pornography, sources told the Los Angeles Times. At least some of the racy images were of a celebrity when she was a minor.
Other charges could include identity theft, unauthorized access to a protected computer and wiretapping, the sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Apple on Tuesday said that the theft of photos was due to a "very targeted attack" on individual iCloud accounts and not a result of a widespread breach of its systems. The hack led to the leak of hundreds of intimate photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Rihanna.
The celebrity photos circulated on various websites and social media platforms Sunday after first surfacing on 4chan.
The FBI confirmed Monday that it was investigating the alleged hacking job, but declined to discuss the case in detail, saying only that it was "addressing the matter."
The issue emerged Sunday, when a search for Lawrence, Upton, Rihanna or related hashtags on Twitter yielded hundreds of retweets of several nude or nearly-nude images.
A representative of Lawrence called the apparent hack a "flagrant violation of privacy."
Although Lawrence's publicist said the photos of the star were stolen, other celebrities, including actress Victoria Justice, said the photos were fake.
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