News

Internet security is vital in the wake of nude photo scandal

Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence is the latest celebrity whose phone software has been hacked and more than 60 graphic images of the 24-year-old star in compromising positions were leaked on the web this week.
Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence is the latest celebrity whose phone software has been hacked and more than 60 graphic images of the 24-year-old star in compromising positions were leaked on the web this week. FREDERIC J BROWN

IT IS an extreme violation of privacy that no one ever wants to find themselves being a victim of, yet celebrities around the world are facing the humiliation of nude photo scandals on a regular basis.

Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence is the latest celebrity whose phone software has been hacked and more than 60 graphic images of the 24-year-old star in compromising positions were leaked on the web this week.

The leak reportedly occurred due to the back-up storage software iCloud, which led to hackers gaining access to more than 100 celebrities' phones and computers.

Other celebrities who have become embroiled in the scandal include Kirsten Dunst, Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice and Aussie actress Yvonne Strahovski.

Strahovski, who reportedly has said the nude images leaked of her were fake, has taken to social media site Instagram to offer her support to fellow victims.

"To my fellow actresses whose privacy has been invaded - my heart goes out to you," she said.

"I'm so disappointed that there are people in the world who feel the need to commit these criminal acts."

She wrote that some of the pictures were fake, her own included, but asked the world to not share the links to scandalous photos.

"Don't even look at the photos. Just let people have the privacy they deserve," she said.

"Integrity is sacred."

And it's not just the rich and famous that hackers can target.

Think that intimate snap you took on your phone, in the privacy of your own home, is safe?

You probably should give that a re-think.

CQUniversity's head of Digital Media, Associate Professor Steven Pace, said it was a matter of weighing up the benefits against the risks.

"iCloud is basically a password-protected internet storage service that allows people to access their photos, music, videos, email, and other files from any device that is connected to the service," he said.

"Cloud-based services are generally very secure, but there is always some element of risk when you store information online."

Assoc Prof Pace said users could make their data vulnerable if they used the system in an insecure way.

"Some people choose short, simple passwords that are easy to guess or that can be easily cracked by malicious software and some people choose easy security questions that online systems use to verify your identity," he said.

"Some people use the same login details for all of their online services, which means that when one account is hacked they all become vulnerable."

Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said photos and other personal information were never 100% protected when it came to social media and other forms of technology.

"If you do that you run the risk of your phone falling into the hands of someone who will use those images for illegitimate purposes," he said.

"Always have a password on your phone so if you do lose it, people can't access your photos and other content."
For more, visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au.

Topics:  icloud jennifer lawrence security



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