Tuesday 24 May 2016

Phishing scam takes advantage of nude celebrity photo leak with fake texts to iPhone users

Published 02/09/2014 | 14:01

Hacked: the nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence appeared online on Sunday
Hacked: the nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence appeared online on Sunday

Phishing scammers are taking advantage of the recent nude celebrity photos leak by sending fake emails and texts to iPhone users.

Security experts claim that they have discovered fake text messages and emails by scammers purporting to be part of the Apple support team.

The messages claim that an unauthorised attempt to access their accounts was detected.

It requests users’ Apple ID and passwords, both of which can be used to access the user’s iCloud and iTunes account and personal details, the Daily Mail reports.

The ‘text phishing’ scam was discovered shortly after a hacker released hundreds of intimate photos online, allegedly featuring some of the world’s best known celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton.

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The hacker has since claimed that he has a sex tape of Jennifer Lawrence and hundreds more photos to release online.

The apparent widespread hacking of celebrities’ personal accounts is thought to be connected to the iCloud service.

Both Apple and the FBI have since launched an investigation into the leak.

Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI, said the Bureau 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,” she said in a statement.

Read more: Watch this ‘cloud’ space: The next time it could be your info getting hacked

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company is ‘actively investigating’ the hacks, while Lawrence’s spokesperson stated on Monday that “the authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence”.

The FBI has previously investigated leaks of naked celebrities, including cases involving Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera, all of which resulted in convictions.

Read more: Hundreds more celebrity images to be published, claims 4Chan 'photo hacker'

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly ‘horrified’ over the impact of her leaked nude photos.

Jennifer’s spokesperson slammed the person or persons responsible in a statement issued on Sunday, calling the offence a ‘flagrant violation of privacy’.

“The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence,” her representative stated.

Lea Michele, Victoria Justice, Krysten Ritter, Yvonne Strahovski, Bar Refaeli and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are also reportedly affected by the breach, with the latter taking to Twitter to blast those taking advantage.

 “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves,” she wrote.

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