The FBI is closing in on a Hollywood hacking ring that his pilfered nude photographs of stars such as Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez , Demi Lovato and Christina Aguilera, celebrity website TMZ.com reported Friday.
The website broke the story of the nude hacking ring on Thursday and said that other stars compromised in the scandal include Vanessa Hudgens, Scarlett Johansson, Ali Larter, Busy Philipps, Miley Cyrus, Emma Caulfield, Addison Timlin and Renee Olstead.
Hudgens, the former Disney star who has already seen two sets of her nude photos hacked and released on the web, met with investigators on Wednesday and the FBI is confident it has identified the hackers’ ringleader, the report said.
Investigators believe that the hackers got hold of the personal photos by hacking into the stars’ cellphones and web-based email accounts, the report said. The hacking group is suspected of touting the risque photos for sale though their prime motivation seems to be mischief rather than money.
Online security firm Sophos said the hacking ring appears to be connected to a German investigation last year in which two hackers were found to have accessed the accounts of 50 pop stars including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, and Justin Timberlake.
The security company said the hackers probably managed to break into the accounts by using easy-to-guess passwords, googling the answers to the secret questions required to reset a password, and by keying in the default PIN number that is often not reset by users on their cell.