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Apple: 'Phishing' may have enabled celebrity nude photo hacks -- FBI follows their lead

"None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone" Apple said.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Sept. 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The FBI is investigating if a "phishing" scam led to the leak of hundreds of private pictures of celebrities after Apple announced it was not due to an iCloud hack.

On Sunday, documents, zip folders and image files of dozens of female celebrities -- and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander -- nude or partially clothed leaked on online image forum 4chan.

Initial reports indicated that the leak occurred due to a breach in Apple's iCloud, prompting Apple to take swift investigatory action.

"When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple's engineers to discover the source," Apple said in a statement. "Our customers' privacy and security are of utmost importance to us."

Apple's investigation concluded the celebrities' accounts were accessed after individuals were hit by "phishing" scams, where criminals obtain usernames and passwords by pretending to be a recovery service for a more official program.

"After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."

According to TMZ, the FBI is specifically investigating incidents involving Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Lawrence and Lea Michele who were "phished" of their personal information.

Follow @mckb26 and @UPI on Twitter.
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