After illegally obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses were made public Sunday, the FBI is on the case -- and so is Lena Dunham.
“The way in which you share your body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at these pictures,” the “Girls” creator and star said in a series of tweets Monday. “Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay.”
She characterized the person who stole the pictures as a “sex offender,” not a hacker.
“The ‘don’t take naked pics if you don’t want them online’ argument is the ‘she was wearing a short skirt’ of the web. Ugh,” Dunham wrote.
“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,” Laura Eimiller, a Los Angeles spokeswoman for the bureau, told L.A. Now on Monday.
Also, Apple said Tuesday that there had been no breach of the iCloud or Find My Phone systems, as had been rumored when the photos went public. Rather, the hacker or hackers gained access the old-fashioned way, the company said in a statement obtained by Technology Now. Techcrunch has a very detailed dissection of how the pictures might have been obtained, but Apple simply said that “certain celebrity account were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.”
An account-by-account attack was much how Christopher Chaney of Florida pulled off a similar large-scale naked-pictures hack a few years back: He would break into a celeb’s email account and work from there to get his hands on personal files, not to mention more celebrities’ email addresses.
Remember the FBI’s “Operation Hackerazzi,” which began in 2010 and was confirmed after photos of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis were illegally obtained and made public in 2011? In 2012, Chaney pleaded guilty to nine felony cyber crimes and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Chaney told a Florida news station in 2011 that he knew what he did was wrong, but said he got hooked on it and couldn’t stop. He would gain control of email accounts using the various email providers’ “Forgot your password” function. In celebrity cases, answers to password-reset security questions -- what high school did you attend, what was your first pet’s name -- can often be found online.
“It started as curiosity, and it turned to just being addictive,” he told Action News in Jacksonville. “Seeing the behind-the-scenes of what’s going on with the people you see on the big screen.”
Model Kate Upton -- whose personal pictures, like Lawrence’s, were all over the place online Sunday -- intends to take legal action, her attorney told TMZ.
“We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible,” Lawrence Shire told the website, echoing a statement from Lawrence’s camp, which called the situation “a flagrant violation of privacy” and said the Oscar winner would “prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos.”
Upton, who’s done many revealing modeling shoots but has chosen not to bare herself completely, recently told British GQ that while she wouldn’t rule it out, posing naked for a magazine like Playboy was not in the cards for her at this point in her career.
Actress Kirsten Dunst, whose name was on a master list of alleged victims that was also made public over the weekend, acknowledged the breach with a tweet Monday. “Thank you iCloud,” she said sarcastically, adding a couple of emoticons suggesting the system was a piece of trash.
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, whose name was also on the list, said, “the fake photos of me are crazy!! was trying to rise above it all, and not give “the creator” the time of day.. BUT..” She tweeted that with a jokey photo suggesting the perpetrator of the hack needed to get religion.
Ariana Grande said Monday that any pictures of her were fake. However, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s confirmation that she’d indeed taken nude pictures with her husband years ago wound up driving the “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” actress to take a break from Twitter.
“Going on an internet break,” Winstead said Sunday, telling people to take a look at replies to her tweets to get “a glimpse of what it’s like to be a woman who speaks up about anything on twitter.” Winstead had faced a barrage of criticism, in part for allowing the images to be taken in the first place.
That “don’t take naked pics” argument -- the one that Dunham referenced -- got Ricky Gervais in social-media trouble Monday after he tweeted and deleted, “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.”
He later apologized and noted, “Offence is the collateral damage of free speech.”
“Of course the hackers are 100% to blame but you can still make jokes about it. Jokes don’t portray your true serious feelings on a subject,” Gervais tweeted. “It’s more important to spend your energy trying to stop actual bad things than to run around trying to stop jokes about bad things.”