Nude celeb photos case: Alleged hacker admits to being 'an idiot'

He lied that he was merely boasting about his cache of nude photos of celebrities.

In reality, he claimed, the photos were fakes.

But that boast proved to be costly for Mr Bryan Hamade, a 26-year-old American software engineer. He told Mail Online that his life "has been ruined" after being identified online as the hacker.

Mr Hamade was named as the source after he allegedly tried to sell nude pictures of Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence in exchange for Internet currency bitcoin, the report said. The intimate pictures of Lawrence and about 100 other celebrities were uploaded online after their iCloud accounts, Apple's file sharing device, were allegedly hacked into.

Mr Hamade allegedly posted some of the pictures on social networking website reddit under the username BluntMastermind and reportedly tried to sell some of them for US$100 (S$125) each.

Users on file sharing website 4chan, where the original pictures appeared, identified his real name.

He admitted to Mail Online that he had been "an idiot", but he said he had lied about being the original hacker.

He claimed that the photos he had tried to sell were fakes.

BITCOINS

He told the MailOnline: "I am not behind this. I lied to someone on reddit to try and get bitcoins with a photoshopped picture."

According to a graphic chart doing the rounds online, Mr Hamade gave himself away as one of the original leakers when he attempted to prove to a 4chan user he had genuine nude images for sale. He posted a screen grab of his computer which revealed his hard drive and network drive.

Users on reddit tracked back through Mr Hamade's previous posts and matched the hard drive and the PC name - thereby allegedly outing him as one of the original leakers.

According to one amateur Internet sleuth, Mr Hamade had claimed to own 13 pictures of Lawrence, including four nude photos.

Said Mr Hamade: "I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts.

"I only reposted one thing that was posted elsewhere and stupidly had my network folders visible."

He has taken down all his social media accounts and said that his original plan to profit off the leakers has backfired.

He told inquisitr.com: "It's been a nightmare and I haven't slept for 34 hours now. 4chan users are harassing me with non-stop phone calls and e-mail saying they'll hack my personal websites. They also said they'll hack my mum's site, so I took it down."

Reports said he works for a software company in Georgia.

According to the company website, he is qualified in coding and a specialist in HTML and Java, among others.

According to the website, he recently graduated from the University of Georgia and is the firm's "technical expert". He told Mail Online that he is hiring a lawyer and that he is also looking for the real hacker.

Said Mr Hamade: "He's most likely the one behind it, but it does seem the photos passed around to many people before being leaked, so it may just be someone who has them and didn't hack to get them."

HACKER THREATENS TO UPLOAD MORE NUDE IMAGES  

More nude pictures of celebrities may be on the way.

In a post thread written just after midnight on Monday on 4chan, the anonymous hacker, referred to by others as the "original guy", said he will be moving to another location before seeming to threaten to upload more compromising images.

He has asked for bitcoin donations from those willing to pay to see, Mail Online reported.

The hacker also appeared to confirm that the hacking was a conspiracy involving more than just one individual and "the result of several months of long and hard work". "Guys, just to let you know I didn't do this by myself," wrote the hacker.

"There are several other people who were in on it and I needed to count on to make this happened (sic).

"This is the result of several months of long and hard work by all involved. We appreciate your donations and applaud your excitement."

INVESTIGATION

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that it had begun an investigation.

It said: "The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."

This comes as it was revealed the hacked nude photographs have been traded on the Internet for at least a week and could be just the tip of the iceberg of stolen celebrity pictures. Exchanged on the Web black market and deviant message boards specialising in stolen "revenge porn" photography, the compromising pictures have been used as a currency of sorts among perverted members of these forums.

Meanwhile, a representative for Jennifer Lawrence confirmed the images are genuine, Sky News reported.

"This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence," a statement said.


This article was first published on September 03, 2014.
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