Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz – who stars in a new film about a home sex video which goes public – has called the leak of nude and explicit images of dozens of female celebrities “a major violation”.
She also said members of the public should consider how they would feel if they had been targeted.
She spoke out after stars such as Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, model Cara Delevingne and former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay were this week among those whose compromising pictures were posted online after their accounts were apparently hacked.
By a quirk of fate, just days after the images were posted, Diaz is promoting her new film Sex Tape in which a couple find an explicit film they have made gets accidentally distributes to a number of people.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, Diaz said: “Whoever has done it, they will be caught and made examples of. This can happen to anyone. If these guys can do it to this group of people then everyone’s vulnerable to it.
“I think that people really need to look at ... how would they feel if it happened to them?”
Her co-star Jason Segel said: “What happened in real life is a terrible crime. And it’s very easy when you use the word ’celebrity’ to take away the human aspect but there is an actual person with a life, you know.”
Technology giant Apple last night said the leaks were not a result of breaches in the security of its computer systems.
The US firm said none of the cases it had so far investigated were a result of its iCloud or Find my iPhone systems being hacked but as a result of a “very targeted attack” on the security procedures of celebrity accounts.
The leaking of the private photos of famous female stars sparked initial suggestions that Apple’s iCloud service had been compromised to access the images and leak them across the internet.
The photos have led to a backlash against the unknown hacker who is accused of violating the privacy of the women involved. A police investigation is under way to identify the culprit.
Spider-Man actress Kirsten Dunst, who is also reportedly a victim of the leak, seemed to point the finger of blame when she tweeted: “Thank you iCloud.”
But in a statement Apple said: “When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilised Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us.
“After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet.
“None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.
“We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said it was “aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high-profile individuals, and is addressing the matter”.
Other stars said to have been affected include Avril Lavigne, Cat Deeley and Rihanna, with actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, whose movies include A Good Day To Die Hard, already acknowledging pictures in which she is featured are genuine.
A piece of computer code that repeatedly guesses passwords has been found online. The script was posted to software site GitHub, but a message has since appeared saying that Apple had fixed the bug.
According to the post, the script uses the top 500 most common passwords approved by Apple to try to gain access to user accounts. If successful, it would give the hacker full access to the iCloud account, including photographs.
iCloud is Apple’s own cloud service, a wireless storage facility that can be used to access files remotely.