Agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been called in to track down the cyber criminals responsible for leaking nude photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton online.
Risque pictures of the pair, along with other female stars such as Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kirsten Dunst, caused a huge stir on the Internet when they surfaced on Sunday (31Aug14) and Lawrence's representative was quick to wage war against the hacker behind the scandal.
Her spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the shots by calling the leak a "flagrant violation of privacy", and adding, "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."
Upton's publicist also followed suit and threatened legal action, and on Monday afternoon (01Sep14), officials at the FBI confirmed they were looking into the case.
A statement released by FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller reads: "(The FBI is) aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter.
"Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."
The haul of celebrity photos originated on 4Chan.org after a hacker found them on numerous Apple iCloud accounts. Site bosses also claim to have nude images of newlyweds Gabrielle Union and Jenny McCarthy, mom-to-be Hayden Panettiere, Hilary Duff, Kaley Cuoco Sweeting, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Lea Michele and Selena Gomez, among others.
Representatives for Justice and Grande insist the leaked images of them are not real.