Last year a large number of young female celebrities had their personal - and in the majority of cases, nude and sexually explicit - photos and videos leaked on to the internet, in what became known as The Fappening. Most of the photos were accessed through iCloud, leading Apple to take steps to strengthen its cloud service’s security.
According to a recently-unsealed search warrant and affidavit the leaks are believed to be the work of one man who managed to access as many as 572 iCloud accounts.
During investigations, US law enforcement agencies traced the attacks to the IP address of Emilio Herrera in Chicago.
Yes, despite being able to break into a large number of iCloud accounts it seems Emilio was unable to adequately disguise his IP address, which was reportedly used to access the compromised accounts 3,263 times between 31 May 2013 and 31 August 2014. It is believed that while he managed to gain access to as many as 572 iCloud accounts, he may have targeted around 1,987 accounts in total.
As Forbes points out, it seems incredible that one IP address attempting to access nearly 2,000 iCloud accounts didn’t set alarm bells ringing at Apple.
Herrera had his home searched and his computer equipment confiscated in October, and the case is ongoing.
High profile female celebrities targeted in the attack included Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Kelly Brook, and Hayden Panettiere. The affidavit makes for interesting reading as it reveals how certain celebrates discovered they were victims of the leaks. They aren’t named, but you can probably work out who they are from the initials.