It remained unclear Tuesday how hundreds of revealing images of Hollywood actresses, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, were obtained before being posted online, but the FBI has confirmed that it is investigating possible "computer intrusions."
The issue emerged Sunday, when a search for Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna or related hashtags on Twitter yielded hundreds of retweets of several nude or near-nude images.
In a statement Monday, Apple said that it is "actively investigating" reports that the photos were stolen from its iCloud service, but did not say whether a breach had actually occurred.
A representative of Lawrence called the apparent hack a "flagrant violation of privacy."
The FBI confirmed on Monday that it too was investigating the alleged hacking job.
“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,” said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles. “Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."
Although Lawrence's publicist said the photos of the star were stolen, other celebrities, including actress Victoria Justice, said the photos were fake.
The hacker behind the stolen photos reportedly first posted them on the image-based online bulletin board 4chan.
In 2012, Christopher Chaney, 36, of Jacksonville, Fla., was sentenced to 10 years in prison for hacking into the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry, including film star Scarlett Johansson, in order to gain access to nude photos and private information.