The stunning leak of nude and intimate photos of scores of celebrities may reach far wider than was previously known, involving the breach of almost 600 online storage accounts, according to unsealed federal court documents.
The "Celebgate" hack resulted in the posting on Aug. 31 of almost 500 purported photos of Hollywood stars, models and other celebrities — including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Kaley Cuoco and U.S. soccer star Hope Solo — to the Wild West-like Internet forum 4chan, from which they quickly spread.
Apple Inc. confirmed the next day that the photos were obtained through a "targeted attack" on personal information used to maintain storage accounts on its iCloud system. The FBI's Cybercrimes Unit launched an investigation.
As early as October, the investigation began zeroing in on an address on the South Side of Chicago, the FBI said in a search warrant affidavit recently unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Using phone records and computer identification information called Internet protocol, or IP, data, investigators found that the compromised accounts were accessed by a single computer linked to two email addresses belonging to Emilio Herrera, 30.