LOS ANGELES — The weekend posting of racy and nude photos of some celebrities on the Internet was the result of “a targeted attack” on selected computer accounts and passwords, and there is no evidence services such as iCloud or Find My iPhone were breached, Apple officials said today.
The hacked photos of as many as 100 celebrities -- including Oscar- winner Jennifer Lawrence, supermodel Kate Upton, singer Ariana Grande, actress Kirsten Dunst and actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead -- were leaked online by an unknown hacker in what appears to be one of the largest security breaches involving celebrities.
“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,” according to Apple.
Apple advised people to always use a strong password, and to enable two- step verification. Both of these topics are addressed on the websitehttp://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.
Meanwhile, the FBI confirmed it is involved in the investigation, but an agency spokeswoman cautioned that few details were being released.
“The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high-profile individuals, and is addressing the matter,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. “Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.”
The illegally obtained photos were posted Sunday. Some celebrities involved in the hacking attack have called the photos fakes, but some have verified their authenticity.