Twitter, Reddit and several other social networks are blowing up this evening with talk of a major nude celebrity photo leak. The trove first appeared on 4chan’s /b/ thread earlier today, and it includes Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence and several others.
The pictures were allegedly retrieved through a vulnerability in Apple’s iCloud service, which allowed the celebrities’ phones to be hacked. Thus far, no one has confirmed that iCloud was actually breached, and few details are known about the attack, or the attacker.
Many of the celebrities named in the leak have taken to Twitter to comment on the matter. Some of them, such as Victoria Justice, are disputing the authenticity of the photos, while others, including Jennifer Lawrence (well, her PR agent), have confirmed their legitimacy.
Again, it hasn’t been established that this was the result of an iCloud hack. In a comment, actress Mary Elizabeth said “knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this,” suggesting this may have not been the case.
That being said, Apple has been criticized for iCloud’s security multiple times in the past, and an attack did take down its developer center for several weeks last summer. If the reports are true, what a terrible time for bad PR, just ahead of next month’s iPhone event.