Everyone has heard about the notorious “TheFappening” event that rocked Hollywood a few years ago – when private, compromising photos of major celebrities were leaked onto the internet. Now, these hacked images are referred to as “TheFappening Leaked iCloud Photos” due to the storage method used for accessing the information — all taken from an unlucky handful of celebrities’ private iCloud accounts.
The incident that started it all has been described as one of the biggest breaches of privacy in modern history. Nude pictures and intimate videos depicting high-profile female stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton made their way onto various social networks and websites, eliciting shocks, cringes, and sometimes smirks worldwide. The resulting scandal was dubbed ‘TheFappening’ as a cheeky nod to ‘the happening’ – slang for an event or situation in which people make a scene or draw attention through outrageous behavior.
Suddenly, some of today’s most famous faces had their personal lives exposed before millions of eyes – literally! It was claimed that over 500 explicit photos spread across 4chan within a matteraday due to links being reposted on Reddit’s /r/Celebs subreddit page along with discussion threads containing gossip about who’s involved (other victims included Kim Kardashian West, Kirsten Dunst, Allison Brie and Kaley Cuoco).
As it turns out, TheFappening was orchestrated by several perpetrators including Ryan Collins – later convicted by FBI agents in connection with the incident that cost embarrassment for himself among others he cyber-harassed. His form of attack reportedly involved a phishing scheme whereby unsuspecting victims were tricked into giving access codes for their Apple iCloud accounts so he could gain entry to them. He would then use hacked details to snatch images stored online before selling them off (or posting them online).
This scandal also prompted improved security measures on Apple products together with higher levels of cyber vigilance among celebrity circles (who faced more advanced defense techniques such as using randomly named files on computers instead uploading sensitive documents directly into cloud storage systems). For example: Ariana Grande stated she deleted her Instagram account following threats by hackers to leak sexually explicit images supposedly stolen from her account.
Ultimately – after the dust had settled – those caught at the center of “thefappening” had little choice but begrudgingly own up to their predicament; otherwise take legal action against social media voyeurs or website proprietors indiscriminately sharing ‘leaked icloud photos’. One thing is certain though: even if we can forget about TheFappening for now – there’s always bound be another celebrity attack sooner or later (in 2020 Emma Watson’s account was targeted) …which inevitably begs questioning about how much responsibility tech giants need assume for not doing enough preventing data breaches occurring in this growing digital age?
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