On Sunday, a user on the website 4chan posted a list of primarily female actors and public figures, including singer Avril Lavigne, American gymnast McKayla Maroney and Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, and claimed to have a number of explicit photographs and videos.
Although the images have since been removed from the 4chan website, the images are circulating on a number of other file-sharing sites.
Some of the personalities involved have responded, with actor and singer Victoria Justice denying that the photos of her were genuine, saying on Twitter: “These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*.”
And a spokesman for Jennifer Lawrence said: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who was among the celebrities listed, also took to Twitter, saying: “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.
“Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.”
A number of reports claim that the hacker accessed the images and videos through iCloud, but this has not been confirmed. Apple has not made any comment in relation to the reports.
The Huffington Post are reporting that the Los Angeles Police Department had ‘no knowledge’ of any hacking as yet.