The FBI is switching its focus from a lone hacker to an organised celebrity picture-trading ring in its hunt for those responsible for a series of recent leaks of private naked photos of female celebrities, according to reports in the Telegraph.
Investigators believe that the 100 or so images leaked online thus far; including celebrities such as the actress Jennifer Lawrence, represent just the tip of the iceberg in a far larger hacking operation that may have been underway for months.
This follows references made on the 4Chan website, source of much of the illicit material, from an anonymous user describing an ‘underground celeb nood-trading ring’ that had been working for years.
Various other websites oncluding gawker and AnoniB have since reported discussions of large caches of ‘explicit vids and pics’ circulating amongst hackers for which a celebrity website was said to be offering cash.
FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller said they were: “aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter.
“Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time,