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AnonIB site, original source of hacked naked celebrity photos, is now down

There's been another development in the naked celebrity photo hack saga which has dominated the headlines this week, as the anonymous message board which was thought to be where the images were originally spilled – called AnonIB – has been taken offline.

If you've somehow missed this one, it's been an embarrassing incident for Apple, as the pics were stolen from iCloud backups following hackers being able to exploit apparent cracks in Apple's account recovery process, a topic which an Australian security expert blogged on at length earlier this week.

Apple has since advised folks to use a strong password with their iCloud account, and to enable two-factor authentication.

At any rate, Mashable spotted that AnonIB – the supposed original source of the leaked images, and a site built around posting explicit pictures of women which have been thieved – is now down, with a message saying that it will be out of action for a while due to maintenance.

The message states: "Maintenance. Please bear with us while we perform the scheduled maintenance. We expect to have the service back and running in a few days (thank you J.L)."

Related: Apple confirms that targeted iCloud attack did compromise celebrity data

It seems unlikely that site maintenance would see the message board down for such a long period of time, though – and the vague "few days" mentioned is also rather suspicious. It may be the case that someone has yanked the plug on the site, as the heat of the investigation into the affair is just getting too much – apparently, as we've previously reported, the FBI is now involved in tracking down the miscreants behind the picture thieving.

The initials J.L may also refer to Jennifer Lawrence – one of the key celebs who had pics leaked, and has been featured in many headlines this week – and a reference to the massive hoo-hah which has been caused being the true reason for the downing.

The AnonIB site is thought to have substantial links to 4Chan (where the pics were subsequently posted), which wouldn't be surprising.

Read more: iCloud naked celebs hack lessons: People can't be trusted with their own online security