Unpublished hacked celebrity nude photos going for one bitcoin online
Volafile is a German site that allows for real-time file sharing among large groups of people, as well as a chat service to discuss the files among the anonymous accounts. It also offers fast upload speeds.
“For iCloud hackers with collections of celebrity photos to offload, Volafile is a dream come true,”Business Insider reported. “New celebrity photo leaks are now emerging almost exclusively through Volafile.”
New photographs and videos of female celebrities are being posted on the site on a daily basis, according to James Cook’s report. Photo traders are “offloading their collection for Bitcoin (and the adoration of their peers)” in the Volafile chatrooms.
More than 100 A-Listers reportedly fell victim to a hacker over Labor Day weekend. That hacker shared the photos online, exposing Hollywood celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Keegan and Kirsten Dunst. Some, like gymnast McKayla Maroney and actress Bella Thorne, were underage when the photos were taken. The FBI is investigating those hacks as child pornography cases.
One dealer, known only as “Sets Ahoy,” is said to havef “a substantial collection of unreleased images, potentially equal in size to the ‘OriginalGuy’ collection” that was posted to the notorious porn forum AnonIB on Labor Day.
Business Insider messaged Sets Ahoy through his encrypted email address, posing as a potential buyer:
“Sets Ahoy replied within hours, telling us, ‘You came to the right guy.’ He sent over his catalogue of stolen celebrity photographs and videos without any prompting,” the news site reported. “Minutes after we expressed our interest in the Daisy Lowe photographs, Sets Ahoy replied with a price.”
— The Independent (@Independent) October 9, 2014
“Today it’s been 1 btc. I do offer discounts for multiple sets though,” Sets Ahoy responded.
One bitcoin is currently trading at approximately $350. A set is considered to be a collection of images, usually a dozen.
The dealer then sent Business Insider a Dropbox link to a sample photograph of Lowe ‒ who has not previously had any photos leaked of her ‒ then deleted the picture minutes later to avoid detection from Dropbox’s illegal content filters. In the sample, Lowe and an unnamed male were in a hotel bathroom. Their genitals were obscured, and the picture was covered in a watermark.
— Action Jackson (@ActionJackB) October 4, 2014
The Labor Day leak was made possible by Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker (EPPB) ‒ software designed to let law enforcement lift data from iPhones with ease. EPPB is used in tandem with iBrute, the password-guessing software for iCloud. The iBrute software, recently released by security research Alexey Troshichev, was made to exploit a flaw in Apple’s 'Find My iPhone' feature to lift users’ iCloud passwords, running through numerous attempts to crack the account before eventual success.
In a Vanity Fair interview released on Wednesday, Lawrence spoke out about her leaked photos for the first time, calling the hacking and subsequent release of her private, nude photos a “sex crime.”
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” she said. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these websites are responsible.”
Have I mentioned lately that I love Jennifer Lawrence? pic.twitter.com/z4xeyKbzny
— Elaine. (@Ehlalaine) October 9, 2014
“You’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame,” Lawrence continued. “Even people I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’ I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”
A group of celebrities whose nude photos were leaked, including Lawrence, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, are now threatening to go to court against Google for hosting the pictures on the search engine and other Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogspot, suing the company for $100 million. Lawyers representing the women claim Google should have been able to remove the pictures from the internet, and in failing to do so “made millions from the victimization of women.”
Google responded that it typically removes images when it receives valid copyright notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
“We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures within hours of the requests being made – and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them,” a company spokesperson said.