Chicago Address Investigated in "Celebgate" Hack: Report | NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Chicago Address Investigated in "Celebgate" Hack: Report



    (Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015)

    An investigation into the leak of nude and intimate photos of hundreds of celebrities has led investigators to a home on the South Side of Chicago, according to unsealed federal court documents.

    NBC News, citing a search warrant affidavit recently unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, reports that the investigation into the “Celebgate” hack began zeroing in on an address on the South Side as early as October.

    Investigators reportedly used phone records and computer identification information to determine that compromised accounts were accessed by a single computer linked to two email addresses belonging to a 30-year-old man.

    NBC News reports that the man has no apparent criminal record and his identification does not mean he is a suspect as Internet protocal and email addresses can be masked and data routed through third-party computers without their owners’ knowledge.

    Apple last year said it was “actively investigating” the violation of several of its iCloud accounts, in which revealing photos and videos of prominent Hollywood actresses were taken and posted online.

    The “Celebgate” hack on Aug. 31 reportedly involved the breach of almost 600 online storage accounts and resulted in the posting of almost 500 purported photos of celebrities -- including Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton -- to the Internet forum 4chan. The images later spread across the Web, showing up on social media sites like Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere.

    Lawrence said she was shocked when she learned of the photo leak. 

    "I was just so afraid," she said in an interview with Vanity Fair. "I didn't know how this would affect my career."

    Apple has since tightened its technological security so not even the company can pry into a password-protected iPhone or iPad.  

    Since the nude photos appeared, Apple has been stressing the need for its users to rely on passwords that are difficult to guess. It has also recommended the adoption of a security feature known as two-step verification that requires a special code sent to mobile phones to be entered along with a password to log into accounts.