So, Mila Kunis, if it wasn't your phone that was hacked..

Filed Under: Celebrities, Data loss, Featured, Mobile, Nude Celebrities, Privacy

Mila KunisThe kerfuffle about the slew of celebrities who have had their phones apparently hacked and naked photos exposed on the internet continues.

But now one of the celebrities denies that her phone was hacked at all. But that doesn't mean that they were a shining example of computer security..

Past victims of alleged phone hacking have included stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens.

Most recently, however, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake have found themselves in the spotlight, with reports that her phone was hacked, and her "Friends with benefits" co-star Timberlake was pictured semi-nude lying on a bed and wearing some pink underwear on his head.

Meanwhile, images of Miss Kunis lying in the bath and an intimate part of an unidentified man were said to be in circulation, along with what were said to be private SMS text messages between Kunis and Timberlake.

However, according to a statement issued on behalf of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis - the actress's phone was not hacked.

"The media's speculative nature of this story and its insistence that there is any inappropriate correspondence between the two parties is entirely false,"

"At no time did Mr. Timberlake and Ms. Kunis exchange inappropriate texts or emails. We would like to confirm that the photo addressed in the media of Ms. Kunis was in fact not from any phone but from an inactive email account that has not existed in 3 years. In regards to the other photos in question, they were never exchanged between the two parties."

"We are currently working with the authorities on this matter and will take the proper legal action required."

Mila Kunis and Justin TimberlakeKunis and Timberlake have denied being in a relationship since rumours began to emerge about an affair during the making of their movie "Friends with benefits".

I have no idea if Kunis and Timberlake have been snogging, or if they're been sending each other flirty text messages or photographs. Clearly they're saying that hasn't happened.

But the above statement does suggest that the picture of Kunis in the bath is legitimate, and was grabbed by a hacker from an "inactive email account".

Whoever owned that email account (and a fair assumption would be that it is Kunis, or someone close to her) was clearly not practising safe computing. If you leave an email account to wither and die, it might be best to clear out any unwanted emails first and wipe any personal information.

Ideally the email account would be erased in its entirety if you're not planning to use it anymore. Otherwise, you might be leaving a tempting treasure chest for a celeb-obsessed hacker to break into, while you attention is diverted elsewhere.

At the very least, ensure that an email account is using a unique, hard-to-crack password for heaven's sake.

There's still much more to this celebrity nude photo hack story to come out, and it will be interesting to hear if the FBI manages to identify who is responsible, and how it is that cybercriminals are getting their hands on so much personal compromising material.

In the meantime, celebrity websites might be wise to remember that if they publish photographs that have been hacked from the phones or email accounts of celebrities they are, effectively, handling stolen goods... and committing a crime themselves.

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17 Responses to So, Mila Kunis, if it wasn't your phone that was hacked..

  1. Makali · 1106 days ago

    I have to wonder if many of these pictures are not photo-shop composites. There have been such nude pictures since shortly after the net was established and usually they were created by placing a celebrity's head onto a photo of a nude body.

    Does anyone thiunk this may be what is actuallt happening?

  2. Close the email account completely down I agree. Even on the rare occasion I have been a member of a site that doesn't actually allow one to close the account (I think most have stopped this policy) I have still changed the password to something like afni3j9ao38h4AWO***#@U()#jhioagji3wo4jh!jiojg89qa3ifowjaeiotjhu234qut89q23htu8ihtjiouehfuiewahriouwaehoi!!@*@#*U*T#@(U*UW13349208903(@(@@)(HJIOFHEIUhjeiwrgfuiw43htu89q23h89*WOPHJ*(#@H*(@$#*(*(#$H*(Hgiurehfiwh3498wh4gheuaisghiwh3484h3io
    Or at least as many characters are allowed on the site. Assuming nobody is going to guess that.

    • This makes sense, except that changing the password alone is pretty much useless for these sites: the password is erected as a barrier to entry via the UI, and does not protect the data in the account.

      It also doesn't protect the portal access, as a simple "I forgot my password" requesst along with some personally identifying question (such as tend to be well-known about celebrities) will usually allow access, or at least reset the password.

      Beyond this, anything stored on such a service is sitting there in a database; if the DB is compromised, all the data is too (they don't encrypt because that would massively increase the amount of data storage space required). All of this data is backed up regularly, and some of those backups are taken off-site.

      Also, anything sent to/from such an account has the possibility of being archived at any other mail exchange it touches on the internet.

      I guess what I'm saying is that if you have something that you never want to be made public, don't store it in public or send it via a public service unencrypted.

      Or at least don't send/store it under your real name.

      • Aielman · 1033 days ago

        That's correct. She could have "deleted" every email in that account before she stopped using it, and that data would still be stored somewhere. It's still stored on that server. It's probably archived somewhere. And it's stored on whatever server it passed through to get to its destination.

        In all probability, she and whomever owned this server may have closed everything down properly. There's a possibility that the drive storing this stuff was sold along with a pallet full of other drives after the servers had been decommissioned, and that whomever bought it just stumbled on it.

        It wouldn't be the first time.

        Don't send something electronically or store it electronically unless you don't mind it being seen by the public. Once it leaves your possession, it's out there...forever.

  3. somebody · 1045 days ago

    you mean those pictures of the pope kissing the imam might not be real!?

  4. RolloverRiderPGR · 1044 days ago

    Some day celebrities, politicians and the rest of the world will realize that if it's on a computer, a cell. a flash drive and now in some "cloud" some moron is going to hack into it and post whatever they find where everyone on the planet can see it!

    By now even the dumbest of these "high profile people" which is an awful lot of them politicians and college educated teachers included will realize that if they would not want anyone other than the one they think is getting the picture to see it then they should not take the picture!

    This goes for female teachers that "like" younger boys!" One thing not taught in college and apparently what they have forgotten from high school is teenaged boys WILL TELL!

    It's a rule! If you get some from any female teacher or student or a buddy's mother, you MUST tell! It's a man thing! If you give him something he's going to share to get his ranking in the group higher and if it's a picture that's even better! BOYs WILL TALK! There is NO SUCH THING as KISS AND NOT TELL!

    The same with ANY one that is famous or has money or power! Look at Clinton! Yep she got him because she kept a dress with some incriminating evidence! Look at other politicians. Then the money paid out to shut them up! But then you have those who for some insane reason think that a female won't get pregnant? GEEZE PEOPLE! As my Dad taught me, if you can't afford con-dom you can't afford the baby but in your cases If you can't afford the fallout or publicity you can't afford a child! (Edwards and Arnold)

    For you actors, billionaires and politicians. A little FYI: Take a picture or send a text or email the world is going to see or read it!
    When tempted to use a digital camera DON'T!
    If it can be hacked while on the internet DON'T!
    It WILL become public property when you least expect it or want it to come out!
    Time to figure out that this new world of technology is your ENEMY if you are famous! And if you are a teacher! Or just dumb as a box of rocks!

    • montex · 1043 days ago

      Whoa there big nelly, go easy on the exclamation points. Has it occurred to you that pictures of Mila & Justin that are "leaked" on the internet might just be a publicity stunt? It's not like Timberlake hasn't pulled this sort of thing before - remember the wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson?

      And so what if there is a naked picture of someone on the internet? BFD. Millions of people are naked on the internet, because as it turns out, people were not born fully clothed and are in fact NAKED with out them. Seriously, you act as if nudity is a capitol offense. You sound like some breathless granny who is offended, OFFENDED, that anyone could dare show their body to the world. Please. Grow up and get over it.

      • Lucky13 · 1029 days ago

        He was not saying he was offended. He was comenting that no one should be surprised when pictures and emails become public. Anything on the internet should be considered public domain, because that's how it ussually ends up.

    • elaine benes · 1024 days ago

      You need a few more exclamation points in that post.
      - Elaine Benes

  5. BK Beach 4X4 · 1039 days ago

    So what is the story exactly?

    The tag line appears to place the blame upon Mila, as opposed to the lowlife individuals in the world who have nothing better to do than troll, and offer hate filled actions that cause themselves much more pain that their victims.

    Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are "good people, " not because of their celebrity, but because of their character, risking that element for promotion of a film is far fetched.

    If montex post has validity then the PR department has lost considerable credibility, something that has high value in the land of make believe.

  6. froggyalley · 1027 days ago

    stop taking pictures of your naughty bits and it will cease to be a problem. You'll KNOW there's nothing out there if you are not photographed in compromising situations.

  7. Mike · 1026 days ago

    Why does it matter? Are they not single and of legal age? If they want to send naughty pics to each other, who's business is it but theirs? Why is this a story?

  8. chrian · 1023 days ago

    Movie PR firm hard at work, nothing more.

  9. thbooboobear · 1020 days ago

    Even when you close an acct . it can take as long as 8 months for it to close down ask MSN.

  10. RonB · 1016 days ago

    The final statement in the article is completely false, at least under US law. As long as the media did not participate in the hacking, and did nothing wrong in the way that it came into possession of the photograph, republishing the photograph is not a crime. Check out the Supreme Court case of Bartnicki v. Vopper. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?...

  11. tsancer · 1012 days ago

    I LIKE the comment they are good people ::and how do U know

  12. Nick Martin · 781 days ago

    mila would do anything for publicity

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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.