Vanessa Hudgens meets FBI to discuss nude photo hack

Filed Under: Celebrities, Law & order, Malware, Nude Celebrities

Vanessa HudgensNude photos and videos of Vanessa Hudgens, the star of "High School Musical", have surfaced on the net, with speculation rife that they have been released by a hacker who broke into the 22-year-old's Gmail account.

So far, so normal for saucy celebrity news.

But what's different on this occasion is that not only has Vanessa Hudgens reported to have met law enforcement officers to discuss the crime, but as many as 50 other celebrities are said to have been targeted by a hacking gang dead set on stealing compromising snaps and information.

Other stars said to have been in the hackers' firing line include actress Scarlett Johansson, who is alleged to have had a nude picture stolen from her iPhone.

Rumours abound that the hacking gang have been touting the risque photos and videos to websites, but might bragging about their online exploits have been their undoing?

It seems too much of a coincidence to me to believe that these latest reports are not connected in some way to the German investigation that we wrote about late last year, where two hackers were accused of breaking into the accounts of over 50 pop stars, including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, and Justin Timberlake.

In that instance, prosecutors claim that the hackers infected computers with malware in order to steal celebrities' credit cards details, private pictures, emails and unreleased songs.

Celebrities are only human (well, some of them.. probably not Lady Gaga) and are just as capable of lousy computer security as the rest of us. Just because they are in the public eye, however, does not give anybody the right to rummage through their private communications, steal foolishly stored naked pictures from their phones, or break into their computers.

So, here's what you should do (aside from the usual advice of running up-to-date anti-virus software, installing security patches and taking care about what programs you run on your computer):

1. Make sure that you are using a hard-to-crack, non-dictionary word for your password and never use the same password for multiple accounts. If you haven't already done so - make sure you read about the top 50 passwords you should never use.

2. Take care about the "secret questions" that some websites ask you to answer in case you ever forget your password. That's how people like Sarah Palin were caught out - as it was simple for hackers to guess her answers.

3. Make sure that you have changed the PIN code on your phone's voicemail. Too many people leave that as the default, opening up opportunities for strangers to listen to what should be private messages.

Image credit: hyku's Flickr photostream (Creative Commons).

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8 Responses to Vanessa Hudgens meets FBI to discuss nude photo hack

  1. Brian Elliott Lavoie · 1226 days ago

    You'd think Vanessa would've learned from the first time.

  2. Creative Reasons · 1226 days ago

    Should not have had the pictures in her gmail or her phone should she, I don't see why people do this other than to get their name in the gossip mags.

  3. Michael E. · 1225 days ago

    simple rule you miss Graham, don't take nude photos of yourself ... and more so, dont put it onlline or in your mobile ...

  4. Richard Wall · 1225 days ago

    They do seem to ask for trouble.

    Another point though. If your a celeb, why have an email account that sounds like your name or obvious. I'm not a celeb and my email is skavenger@rv-online.co.uk try to make it hard for these people.

    Her email is probably VanessaHudgens@hotmail.com and the password is probably either password or secret.

  5. martin · 1225 days ago

    MPAA and RIAA are trying to pass laws allowing them to snoop on our communications and they are doing this in the name of many such "stars".

    So, fairs fair.....

    Still looking for any mentionof Lad Gaga condemning the criminalisation of fans.

  6. L1feless · 1225 days ago

    I think the issue is that these celebs are in the profession they are in because they are more adventurous then most and outgoing. That likely lends it self to this type of behavior. Now as to why these celebs seem to always keep this stuff on their accounts and they always seem to be their personal accounts. It makes total sense. These are the only accounts/devices which they themselves monitor and manage. It would stand to reason that they would want to try and control if any of these images get leaked and thus keep them with them at all time.

  7. I think most celebrities store naked pictures of themselves on their phone because they want the publicity. Look at all the sex tapes out there that SOMEHOW get leaked.

  8. perv · 513 days ago

    so...where are these pictures? hmm?

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.