The FBI and Apple Inc. said they are looking into reports that someone stole nude photos of celebrities and posted the racy images online.
The photos, which included several of actress Jennifer Lawrence, circulated on various websites and social media platforms Sunday. A publicist for “The Hunger Games” star called the published photos a “flagrant violation of privacy.”
The photos first surfaced on the image-based online bulletin board 4chan, according to BuzzFeed.
Apple said Monday in a statement that it is “actively investigating” reports that the photos were stolen from its iCloud service. Apple did not say whether its service, or celebrity iCloud accounts, were breached.
“We take user privacy very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris said.
The FBI confirmed Monday that it is aware of the hacking allegations and is “addressing the matter.” The agency declined to comment further.
Although Lawrence’s publicist said the photos of the star were stolen, other celebrities, including actress Victoria Justice, said the photos were fake.
It remained unclear how the photos were obtained.
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 to gain access to nude photos and private information.
Chaney’s victims included Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johansson and Christina Aguilera.
Chaney admitted taking their email addresses, clicking on the “Forgot your password” feature and then resetting the passwords by correctly answering security questions using information he found by searching the Internet.
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Staff writer Louis Sahagun contributed to this report.