Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized computers from a house in Chicago as part of its investigation into nude photos of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Hendricks, Kate Upton and Anna Kendrick, that were leaked last August, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
Although the FBI has yet to arrest a suspect, one man named Emilio Herrera was of particular interest, newly unsealed court documents showed. He was reportedly a resident of the house, on the South Side of Chicago, that was raided several months ago. The FBI's Special Agent Josh Sedowsky said that someone there was believed to have used computers that started what has now become known as “CelebGate,” the Daily News reported.
In August 2014, private photos of celebrities, primarily women, and many of them apparently genuinely nude, were posted to an online forum and recirculated via Reddit along with other social media channels. The photos were allegedly obtained through hacked iCloud accounts, and Apple has said that “a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions” – not a break into its systems overall – led to the hack.
Following the leak, the FBI traced IP addresses and iCloud accounts to the house and apartment in Chicago. Although residents there have yet to be criminally charged, the FBI suspects that people in the house and the apartment had access to celebrities’ email and cloud storage accounts for several months in 2014.
In October, federal agents went to the house, along with a separate apartment, walking out with computers, cellphone, thumb drives and hard drives, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in May. They also took a Kindle and, curiously, floppy disks. Court records showed that some victims of the hack, identified by their initials, told federal agents that they were temporarily barred from accessing their online accounts before the hack or had received scam messages.