“The Fappening” was THE talk of the town last summer. It was almost impossible to turn a street corner without hearing someone say something about “Jennifer Lawrence naked” this or “Kate Upton without any clothes on” that, meaning that The Fappening was the biggest thing to happen on the Internet that bled into real life since…well, since the Internet was made in the first place.
That’s not to downplay what an egregious invasion of privacy the whole thing was, but hey. Nudes are nudes are nudes, and if you’re reading this and saying “Well I CERTAINLY did NOT look at any of those pictures!” then congratulations, you’re officially Jesus. Go chug some communion wine and get a friggin’ fire hose ready, because it’s gonna take a lot of holy water to cleanse our minds of the whole ordeal.
For a while people were preparing for another round of photos to leak, but those photos never came and now we maybe (MAYBE) know why: Chicago resident Emilio Herrera, Fappening person of interest, was busted on October 15th, 2014.
A recently unsealed federal search warrant and related affidavit pertaining to the FBI’s investigation into the iCloud hacker ring shows the investigation moving offline. On October 15th, 2014, federal agents entered the neat, modest brick home of Emilio Herrera on the South Side of Chicago. According to a sworn affidavit by Special Agent Josh Sedowsky of the FBI’s Cybercrimes Unit, someone in this house had been on an iCloud hacking spree.
“Based on victim account records obtained from Apple,” Sedowsky wrote, “one or more computers used at [Herrera’s house] access or attempted to access without authorization multiple celebrities’ e-mail and iCloud accounts over the course of several months.”(via)
According to Gawker, between May 31st, 2013 and August 31st, 2014 Herrera’s IP address “was used to access approximately 572 unique iCloud accounts…in total, the unique iCloud accounts were accessed 3,263 times.” While the FBI did not state exactly how many of these accounts belonged to celebrities, they did disclose that “a number” did indeed belong to famous persons and that “the majority of the other accounts accessed from [Herrera’s home] were accounts of celebrities, models or their friends and families.” Apparently if you can’t get a good nude of a famous person, their closest living relative will have to do. Why you’d want a nudie of, say, Hope Solo’s mom, I don’t know. People aren’t exactly clamoring for that sort of content.
As for how the passwords to the celebs’ accounts were obtained in the first place:
It’s clear now that the celebrity iCloud heist was done through the oldest (and most reliable) method of online malice: phishing emails and a password reset. Anything pertaining to password cracking and phishing is called out in a “list of items to be seized” on the FBI’s warrant…(via)
However, despite all of this information having been unsealed by the FBI Herrera has yet to be charged with any crime, or even be considered a suspect at this point. So Herrera wasn’t the mastermind…but maybe he was a pawn? Maybe he’s giving away information on who was actually behind the hacking for immunity? Or maybe he’s 100% innocent and the FBI thought his house could use a good spring cleaning of all the laptops and what-not he had laying around. I don’t know. But if watching Law & Order reruns while laying on the couch hungover makes me a legal expert of any sort (it doesn’t), something’s up.