09/02/2014 03:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Everything We Know About The Unnamed Celebrity Photo Hacker

Daily Mail via 4Chan

By now, basically everyone knows that a large batch of nude celebrity photos was uploaded to the Internet on Sunday.

The photos are believed to have been first uploaded to the Internet via relatively obscure forums like 4Chan and AnonIB, but were shared more widely after the creation of a Reddit community called The Fappening.

The FBI is investigating and trying to find the hacker. Here's what we know about him (or her), so far:

1. The Reddit user originally accused by his fellow Redditors of uploading the photos has maintained his innocence.

The first person to be singled out as the potential hacker behind the leak was a a 26-year-old web developer, who we've chosen not to identify here. After being accused by 4Chan and Reddit users, the developer vehemently denied responsibility for the hack, telling BuzzFeed he "only reposted one thing that was posted elsewhere."

He also told the website that he has "no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts," but that the original hacker is "on 4chan posting intermittently."

2. A user allegedly claiming responsibility for the hack says there are more pictures to come.

An anonymous user on AnonIB has come forward claiming to be the hacker behind the leak. In a post uncovered by The Daily Mail, the user said that the hack was the result of months of hard work and that he would be "moving to a new location" to continue posting the explicit material. The user also said that...

3. ...There may have been more than one hacker.

"Guys, just to let you know I didn't do this by myself," the anonymous user wrote in the same AnonIB post, according to The Daily Mail. This theory seems to be supported by security experts cited by Fox News.

4. Since the photos have been shared by so many people, it makes them difficult to trace to one hacker.

The photos have now been posted and reposted on AnonIB, 4Chan, Reddit and Imgur, as well as other less prominent social networks and image sharing sites. The photos also were originally advertised for sale to individual users, according to Business Insider. That means that tracing the original person or persons responsible for the hack might be even more difficult.


Analytics posted to Reddit show the spike in traffic on The Fappening subreddit.

5. A “collector” has claimed to be responsible for spreading the images.

To be specific, a 4Chan user has identified himself as a "collector" responsible for spreading the images, but not a "hacker," according to The Independent. The user also claimed to be in possession of some 423 leaked photos in total, many of which have apparently not yet been released. So far the user wrote that "I really didn't get close" to receiving the amount of money "I was hoping" for the photos.

6. The FBI is investigating the hack and pursuing the person responsible.

Both the FBI and Apple have launched independent investigations into the hacked photos and those who could be responsible. The FBI has been successful in prosecuting celebrity phone hacking cases in the past. In 2012, celebrity hacker Christopher Chaney was sentenced to 10 years in jail for breaking into the email accounts of Scarlet Johansson, Christina Aguilera and other celebs.