Actress Teresa Palmer opens up about the widespread hacking of female celebrities and how the targeted women held a summit where they aired their grievances.
It began August 31 of last year. That day, around 500 revealing photos of celebrity women, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Scarlett Johansson, were posted to the online message board 4chan and spread like wildfire on sites Imgur and Reddit. Subsequent cache dumps targeted the likes of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and supermodel Cara Delevingne.
Apple soon revealed that the stolen images were obtained via a series of brute force attacks (“a very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security questions”) executed against Apple’s iCloud online storage system. In layman’s terms, because Apple’s iCloud service didn’t require two-step password authentication, hackers could take an unlimited number of stabs at celebs’ passwords and security questions.
The unprecedented leak, dubbed “The Fappening,” raised questions about the gaping holes in Apple’s iCloud security, the invasion of celebrities’ privacy, and the misogyny prevalent in online culture—since nearly all the victims in this charade were women.
As its most famous target, Jennifer Lawrence was branded the de facto mouthpiece for the wronged women, and lashed out against the hackers, labeling the breach “a sex crime.” I’ve interviewed several other A-list actresses in the wake of The Fappening who had their private photos stolen, but they’ve remained mum on the subject—either afraid of lending it any more ink, or perhaps fearing reprisals from the hackers, who still remain at large.