Apple said Tuesday that hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities by pilfering images from individual accounts rather than through a broader attack on the company’s services.
Meanwhile, numerous sharing sites removed images of the stars apparently in response to copyright complaints.
However, experts say there is no way to fully scrub the photos from the Internet and the images could keep popping up in the future, forcing celebrities to file repeated complaints as they play a cyber-version of the arcade game “whack-a-mole.”
Read: FBI investigates Jennifer Lawrence’s online naked picture leak
Apple said its engineers have determined that hackers breached individual accounts and didn’t obtain general access to a pair of the company’s services — iCloud and Find my iPhone. The tech giant said it released the results after conducting 40 hours of investigation.
Law enforcement inquiries likely will take days or weeks to complete.
The FBI offered no details on its efforts to identify people responsible for stealing the images that were posted on image-sharing site Imgur.com, the social networking sites Reddit and Twitter, and other websites. But the agency said Monday it was aware of the breach and addressing the matter.
Read: Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez naked pictures leak online
Similar investigations have involved the use of search warrants and digital forensics to determine how hackers obtained everything from Paris Hilton’s contact list to nude photos of actresses Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis.
Lawrence, an Oscar winner for her role in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, contacted authorities after the images of her began appearing Sunday.
By Tuesday, a Reddit thread that had been compiling links to images of nude photos ofLawrence and other celebrities had been disabled due to a copyright claim, the website said.
Users reported difficulty finding working links to the images on other sites.
Representatives of Twitter, Reddit and Imgur did continued…