Anonymous posters to online message boards like 4Chan started this Monday, September 1st to distribute nude images of tons of female stars including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, pop icon Rihanna and top model Kate Upton between others on a huge private data leak from online storage services.
Early reports suggested hackers had “ripped” private images from tech giant Apple’s iCloud online data storage, but Apple made no immediate comment and other services may have been targeted.
Some of the pictures had previously been circulated on message forums, and others appeared fake, but some major stars expressed outrage at a new breach and threatened legal action. Most stars deny the pictures are theirs, but horror movie actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed that some of her private pictures were in circulation and condemned those who stole the pictures which according to her were deleted a while ago.
Several mainstream media outlets were even linking to the pictures on these forums, obviously looking for traffic, but ended up removing the links after threats of legal action. Some popular tech blogs featured the story by providing advice on storing private data safely, by using advanced encryption and two-step password identification or by keeping it offline.
The scandal also posed a public relations challenge to tech companies, who have been marketing online storage like iCloud, DropBox or GoogleDrive as a safe haven for users’ private data.
A quick look at Google Trends shows which pop artists are the most popular on this hack, as they became the most searched terms on Google, probably from people looking for the stolen pictures:
Artists most searched for on Google on Monday September 1st:
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- Kate Upton
- Justin Verlander
- Teresa Palmer
- Ariana Grande
- Many other stars affected by the mass hack of leaked nude pictures.