Saturday, September 06, 2014

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and others leaked; updates and reaction

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and others leaked; updates and reaction

"The US site reports that dozens more photos of celebs have been leaked today. Alleged victims include: Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Kirsten Dunst, Hope Solo, Krysten Ritter, Yvonne Strahovski, and Teresa Palmer."

If you have been pulling a Rip van Winkle, you may not realize that last Sunday was perhaps the most shocking day in the history of celebrity nudity. One of the contributors on 4Chan's crazy-ass /b board posted dozens and dozens of pictures alleged to represent naked celebrities, presumably hacked cell phone photos. With a few exceptions, they turned out to be the real McCoy. The most significant collections involved Jennifer Lawrence, who appears in many stages of undress and in some explicit poses, and Kate Upton, who appears with nothing covering her enormous natural breasts. Those two women were the most popular in the hacked group because they are A-list stars who have never done nude movie scenes or photo spreads, but Upton and Lawrence were by no means the only ones to be exposed. In all, about 20 celebrities were involved in the first wave, and a poster also produced a list of some 100 celebrities whose pictures are in his possession, indicating that many more may appear in the near future.

As Sunday evening progressed, trolls started to enter the fray and were posting various fakes, claiming that they were part of the treasure trove. This inevitably led to some chaotic discussions among those trying to separate fact from fiction. The chaos was exacerbated by the fact that various legal actions were being pursued and various guidelines were being enforced, with both private and public enforcers attempting to take down the pictures as soon as they appeared online. Reddit tried gamely to stay on top of "The Fappening," as they called it, but they have now finally abandoned it.

The poster of most (but not all) of the first-wave files claims that he is not one of the hackers, but simply a collector who paid for his images. According to him, the pics were privately traded over the weekend on an internet black market which accepts swaps or virtual currency. Apparently the existence of these pictures has been known for some time to a "club" of collectors, including the guy mentioned here. The pictures may have been collected by many people over a long period of time, but a fresh concatenation of circumstances finally put some of the images into wide circulation en masse this weekend. The putative paper trail is described here.

The actual hackers/originators remain anonymous, so the source and method have not been firmly established, but Apple's investigations have determined that "certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions." Apple's official statement was rather weaselly and filled with cover-your-ass lawyerspeak. Sure, maybe there was technically no mass "breach," and no compromise of Apple's code, but the attacks could have exploited this known vulnerability - which permits those very "targeted attacks" to be performed quite easily; which other sites defend against; and which Apple has since corrected. With a combination of evidence and solid speculation, this site offers, in my opinion, the most thoughtful look at how these hacker-traders might be operating.

In an interesting sidebar, there is also one collection that seems to include several of Kate Upton sans clothing, but also includes other random unidentified naked women. Why? It seems that the pics were hacked from Justin Verlander's device, which also includes pictures of other women because (sigh) simply having Kate Upton is not enough for a guy, ya know?

Reactions about allegedly fake pics:

Ariana Grande has Tweeted that the alleged Grande leaks are fake.

The Reddit archivist concluded that the Yvonne Strahovski images are spurious.

"Oops. I lied changed my mind":

Victoria Justice originally Tweeted unequivocally that the pictures of her were not authentic. Various internet detectives offered some fairly convincing circumstantial evidence to the contrary: 1, 2, 3, whereupon Victoria conceded that she had faced an invasion of privacy. To be fair, I believe that her original Tweet was referring to one picture which really was fake, and she may not have been aware at the time that there were other, genuine ones.

McKayla Maroney originally said that the pictures of her were fake, but that seems unlikely, given that sites are being ordered by her lawyers to take down the pictures of her because she was underage at the time they were taken, meaning that (1) it is she and (2) it has been established precisely when the pics were taken. It's obvious that the lawyers have the right strategy for her. Her original denials would have left those pics on the internet forever, being passed from hand to clammy hand, but the "underage" claim, whether true or not, trumps everything. It will have everyone in America scrambling to expunge the pictures from their hard drives.

Reactions about authentic pics:

A spokesperson for Jennifer Lawrence told TMZ "This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence." That statement indicates that the Lawrence collection must be authentic. (CAUTION: even if the bulk of the "hacked" J-Law pictures are legit, you will probably find some fakes among the genuine pics.)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed the authenticity of her pics with some Twitter posts: 'Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked. 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.'"

While Becca Tobin did not explicitly confirm that it was she in the Christmas pictures, she did post this message on Twitter: "Merry XXXmas."

Other reactions:

Here are some additional Twitter responses from various celebs, supporters, pundits, etc.

One site posted this advice: "Here's the Most Important Step to Stop Hackers From Leaking Your Nudes"

I'd say that recommendation, while worthwhile, probably ranks about sixth in terms of efficently preventing nude pictures of yourself from appearing on the internet. Here are the other five, starting with the most effective:

#1 Don't take any. This is 100% effective.

#2 If you want to take nudes, don't take them on a device that is connected to the internet. If you can use your device to get to the internet, the internet can also get to you. Use an offline device like a digital camera.

#3 Don't ever store them on any device that is accessible to anyone else but you. In other words, keep them offline, because no internet connection is ever completely secure. If the photos are offline and stay in your house, they can't be stolen unless somebody physically breaks in.

#4 If you have even the slightest bit of doubt, delete those mofos.

#5 Do not trust anyone with a penis who says he deleted them.


  1. Mary Elizabeth Winstead needs to calm the fuck down. She is the personification of yellow starbursts. Sure she was in the pack, but nobody was looking for her.

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