Donning nothing but a Chopard 18-carat white gold, titanium, and diamond necklace—one made specifically for the Diana film, another martyr of fame—and a fuck you glare, Jennifer Lawrence stood defiant, naked and unafraid, and issued a stern warning to all those who wronged her: “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense,” she told Vanity Fair. “You should cower with shame.”
The 24-year-old Oscar winner spoke, and her enemies listened.
After issuing the Oct. 7 degenerate decree, those so-called perpetuators took to the very Reddit and 4chan message boards they used to spread her stolen content to express their remorse, even going so far as to label themselves “perverts who did a bad thing.”
Now, it’s been five days since any stars have been victimized by “The Fappening,” the vulgar portmanteau given to the celebrity nude hacking blitzkrieg that began in late August and saw Apple’s online storage system iCloud be penetrated by a series of “brute-force” attacks—attempting a large number of key combinations—resulting in the leak of hundreds of private nude photos and videos of female celebrities such as Lawrence, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, and more.
The All Quiet on the Pervert Front has led photo-sharers on Reddit and 4chan to declare “The Fappening” dead. In addition to the apparent ceasefire, many of the subreddits and 4chan boards that helped spread the stolen content have been removed by administrators, as have most of the downloadable files containing the content—much of which was shared via Volafile, a free online file-sharing site based in Germany.
“Now, with nothing significant floating to the top in this long time, it seems like the well has run dry,” wrote user NoNameFits on the popular subreddit /r/fappeningdiscussion. “The main event is clearly over. Let's just bask in the likelihood that the dust will settle and celebs will get complacent again.”
The last group of “Fappening” victims leaked online on Oct. 13, and consisted of a dozen women you probably haven’t heard of. For example: There’s Wailana Geisen, whose only listed IMDB credit is from a show called My Roommate The; Instagram model Dawn Jaro; Ashley Blankenship, who’s best known as “Sales Assistant #1” in The Wolf of Wall Street; and even a woman who has no acting credits and works in marketing. You get the picture.
Because the latest batch of victims is almost entirely made up of unknowns, photo-sharers on Reddit and 4chan have accused them of being “D-listers leaking their own shit” for publicity.
Perhaps the threat of legal action has also played a role in curbing the horde of dyspeptic deviants. On Oct. 2, high-profile lawyer Marty Singer threatened Google with a $100 million lawsuit for “facilitating” the spread of the stolen celebrity nude photos, claiming that Google had neglected to remove the photos fast enough, putting them in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A day after Singer’s later went viral, Google claimed they’d acted swiftly in removing “tens of thousands” of leaked images hosted on their sites. “We’re removing these photos for community guidelines and policy violations (e.g. nudity and privacy violation) on YouTube, Blogger and Google+,” Google’s statement read.
And the last high-profile hacking victims, model Daisy Lowe and her boyfriend, Dr. Who star Matt Smith, took it upon themselves to send out a legal notice to several news sites threatening them with legal action if they published the stolen images.
While the FBI is still looking into who’s responsible for the hack(s), on Sept. 16, Apple announced it had beefed up its iCloud security by requiring two-factor authentication to access iCloud. Previously, hackers could merely try thousands of attempts at a celebrity’s security questions—since iCloud allowed unlimited attempts—and make educated guesses based off all the public information about a given celeb (pet name, street they grew up on, etc.), recover their Apple ID password, and exploit third-party software to access one’s iCloud backup folder. With two-factor authentication, iCloud now requires not only your password, but also a second means of verification—a 4-digit code sent to your iPhone via SMS messaging—in order to gain access.
Then, on Oct. 8, Apple tightened its iCloud security even further, requiring separate passwords for third-party software that did not require two-factor authentication, but could still be used to access iCloud and expose one’s private data (e.g. Microsoft Outlook).
That latest Apple security update came just one day after Lawrence’s Vanity Fair cover story ran.
Yes, “The Girl on Fire” can apparently extinguish them, too.