Celebrities often cry “I got hacked!” when they’re caught posting inappropriate content, but sometimes they really do fall victim to hacking. The fallout can be severe, including leaked intimate photos, extortion attempts, and scams using their accounts. Let’s examine some of the worst celebrity hacks and data breaches to understand how they occurred and the resulting damage.
What Are the Most Prominent Hacked Celebs?
In 2020, a few young hackers successfully took over 130 high-profile Twitter accounts, including those belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Bill Gates. They used the platform to carry out a Bitcoin scam that earned them more than $110,000 in just a few minutes.
The hackers posed as celebrities and invited others to send Bitcoin and receive double the amount in return, but they never actually sent any Bitcoin back.
To carry out this elaborate scam, the hackers used social engineering tricks to gain access to Twitter’s administrative tools, which gave them complete control over the hacked accounts. Imagine seeing a tweet from Joe Biden, Floyd Mayweather Jr., or even Apple asking you to send Bitcoin – it’s a strange thought, but it actually happened.
What is the biggest hack in a history data breach?
The US-based mortgage settlement and real estate financial services company First American Financial Corp faced one of the biggest hacks in history in 2019. Ben Shoval, a real estate developer, had found that approximately 885 million files containing sensitive customer data from 2003 onwards were freely available. He notified the company about the same.
This leak was a result of a human error. In January of that year, the internal team discovered an Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) flaw during a manual pen test. This bug allowed users to access private information using a specific URL and sequentially changing its numbers. And without proper authentication, any user could access any information freely.
7 Celebrities that Have Been a Victim of A Cybersecurity Incident
1. Jennifer Lawrence
Back in August 2014, Jennifer Lawrence faced a major hurdle in her career when intimate photos of her were leaked online by an unknown hacker. These private pictures, intended only for her trusted partners, were shared without her consent.
Despite this distressing violation, Lawrence held her head high and took a stand against those who perpetrated the crime. In a later interview with Vanity Fair magazine, she labeled the hack a “sexual violation” and demanded accountability from those who viewed the photos.
With her unwavering spirit, Lawrence set an inspiring example for others facing similar challenges.
2. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’s personal iCloud account was illegally hacked by a super-fan, invading her privacy in an unimaginable way. The fan not only spied on the singer’s personal life but went so far as to post screenshots of emails from her account online to prove their success.
The hacker then reported back to fans that they had read enough to completely turn their back on the star. They described her as unstable and difficult to deal with, saying that she explodes at the slightest provocation and tells people off.
3. Paris Hilton
In 2005, a Massachusetts teenager was detained for 11 months in a juvenile facility due to his hacking of Paris Hilton’s phone, which resulted in the posting of revealing photos and personal information online.
The young hacker, who had also carried out electronic break-ins at LexisNexis, was known as one of the youngest internet criminals of his time. Following his release, he was put on two years of supervised release, during which he was prohibited from using any device capable of accessing the Internet.
You can personally check what celebrities had their phones hacked, but the most important thing is not to become one of those who were unlucky and whose data was leaked to the network. If you need a way to protect yourself, then use VeePN.
It encrypts all traffic and protects against phishing, which caught most of the celebrities. Another plus is that you can change your location. This is the easiest way how to change location on iPhone without any fancy technology. All you need is to install a VPN and connect to one of the servers.
4. Lady Gaga
Ms. Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ke$ha, Kelly Clarkson, and 50 others fell victim to a malware attack that stole credit card information, personal photos, email, and even unreleased music. The culprits? Two young hackers from Germany were after financial gain, potentially by blackmailing the celebrities.
Authorities claim that unpublished music can fetch high 5-figure sums. Stay vigilant against such cyberattacks, as even some of the world’s biggest stars aren’t immune.
5. Iggy Azalea
Beware of angering the “hacktivist” group Anonymous, as Iggy Azalea learned the hard way. Anonymous accused the rapper of cultural misappropriation and insensitivity towards peaceful protesters and Eric Garner’s death. They gave her a 48-hour deadline to apologize, threatening to release photos from an alleged sex tape if she failed to comply.
While they stated that they have “values to live by” and won’t release the tape, they did possess stills from it which they used to demonstrate their possession. Twitter quickly removed Anonymous’ account due to harassment.
In 2014, before “The Fappening 3.0“, there was a massive celebrity hack known as “CelebGate” or “The Fappening 2.” This breach resulted in the release of numerous sensitive photos of high-profile stars, including Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, and Arianna Grande.
The perpetrator, Ryan Collins, was able to gain access to the photos through a phishing scam in which he pretended to be a legitimate business. This was one of the largest celebrity hacks in history.
7. LeBron James
In a high-profile breach earlier this year, hackers infiltrated the website of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, a law firm that counted celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Drake, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and LeBron James among its clients.
The hackers stated they had acquired 756 gigabytes of confidential data and demanded payment for its return. Unfortunately, the situation remains unresolved as the hackers have started to sell the information to the highest bidder.
While there is no surefire way to prevent a data breach, the above examples illustrate why it is critical to remain vigilant and stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity measures. As hackers become increasingly sophisticated in their techniques, the best defense is always prevention.
Companies must make sure their networks are secure and that they have proper authentication protocols in place; meanwhile.