ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — The FBI said Monday it is “aware” that someone has leaked nude photos purporting to be pictures of dozens of A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton and is “addressing the matter.”
The feds made its statement as celebrities were outraged over the hacked photos.
The statements came in response to the release of photos purportedly of dozens of celebrities in various states of undress. The photos first appeared on an image sharing site called 4chan.
It’s not clear how the photos were obtained or whether they are all genuine.
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” a spokesperson for Lawrence told ABC News. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Upton’s attorney, Lawrence Shire, echoed those sentiments.
“This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client, Kate Upton’s, privacy,” he said. “We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”
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Meantime, a representative for Ariana Grande called her allegedly leaked photos “completely fake.”
Singer Victoria Justice did the same via Twitter, writing “These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*”
Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead said she had deleted the photos later posted of her, saying on Twitter, “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. Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.”
“Even if you have deleted those photos from your phone, often times they’ve already been uploaded into the cloud,” said Clifford Neuman, the director of the USC Center for Computer System Security. “When you deleted them from the phone, they continue to exist.”
Representatives for other celebrities who allegedly were hacked didn’t immediately return calls for comment.
Hacking of celebrities’ personal accounts has happened before. In a separate case in 2012, a Florida man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to hacking into email accounts and stealing compromising photos of celebrities, including Scarlet Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.
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