FBI Probes Hackers Stealing Celebrity Nude Photos
If you've seen those nude photos of starlet Vanessa Hudgens that have been bouncing around the Internet lately, the FBI may be calling you.
Hollywood muckracking website TMZ.com reported Thursday (March 17) that the star of the High School Musical series had gone to the G-Men over hackers breaking into her Gmail account and stealing the photos.
In fact, said TMZ, the FBI is closing on a celebrity-hacking ring that's got dirty information and images on about 50 other stars.
Another victim of the ring may be buxom beauty Scarlett Johansson, whom sources say had a nude photo stolen from her iPhone .
Although some websites have been willing to pay big bucks for the saucy snaps, reported TMZ, the hackers aren't motivated by money, but rather for the thrills or, as chatroom denizens would say, the lulz.
In a posting on his firm's Naked Security blog, Sophos researcher Graham Cluley pointed out that celebrities are just as dumb as the rest of us and often have easy-to-guess passwords, making it simple for cyberstalkers to get their jollies.
He reminded everyone, famous or not, to do three simple things:
Use a non-dictionary word for your password, fill it up with numbers and punctuation marks, and never use the same password twice.
Change the default PIN on your phone's voice mail. Many people stick with the pre-installed default, and hackers know that.
Make up fake answers to the secret questions that e-mail accounts will ask you to verify your identity should you ever forget your password. It's just too easy for someone else to find out your mother's maiden name.