A massive hunt is underway on the Web to find the hacker dubbed “Original Guy,” who stole nude photos of dozens of celebrities, including Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, and posted them online.
A mob of Internet sleuths are searching for the computer expert on such image-sharing sites as Reddit and 4chan, where the pictures first appeared, according to The Washington Post
Nude or scantily-dressed photos of Ariane Grande, Kate Upton, Selena Gomez, Kirsten Dunst and as many as 100 other female celebrities were posted online over the holiday weekend after being stolen from their personal Apple accounts.
Apple investigated the incident and found that neither iCloud nor Find My iPhone were breached
, while the company said it was working with law enforcement officials to track down the person or persons responsible for the hack attacks.
Various reports have surfaced saying that “Original Guy” is a well-connected figure in underworld porn forums who has been putting his celebrity nude “album” together over the past few months, according to the newspaper.
Another report said he’s part of a “loose gang” of hackers trading pictures with each other to create a “collection” of steamy photographs. There’s also been rumors that “Original Guy” is on the run from the FBI after threatening to release more intimate images. But online “cops” may find the culprit first, the Post said.
The first man unmasked as “Original Guy” was a 27-year-old computer programmer from Atlanta named Bryan Hamade, known as “BluntMastermind” on Reddit, who works for a company in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Hamade tried to sell the pictures on Reddit for bitcoin after posting a screenshot of his computer showing the leaked picture folder, according to BuzzFeed.
Within hours, he was being identified as the “the main suspect” in news stories all over the world. Hamade quickly came forward to admit he had tried to hawk the photos, but denied he was the guy.
“I am not behind this. It was so stupid. I saw a lot of people posting the actual leaks and bitcoin addresses and I’ve read a lot about bitcoin and how they are valuable, and I thought, ‘Oh cool I’ll get free bitcoins,’” he told BuzzFeed.
“I am just an idiot who tried to pull one over on 4chan and lost big time, and stupidly left this identifying information. I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts.”
He added, “I regret it so much. I didn’t even get any bitcoin out of it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will since it’s just the biggest news story.”
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