Watch CBS News

Experts: Celeb Hacking Should Have Everyone Rethinking Internet Security

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- They are the photos they didn't want anyone to see. Now, some major celebrities are fighting back.

Hackers allegedly got their hands on private pictures, some of them in the nude.

The question is, can the same thing happen to you?

As CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported, Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is among the many Hollywood A-listers demanding an investigation, wanting to know who posted nude pictures of her online.

The photos of "The Hunger Games" star showed up on file-sharing sites Sunday night.

Lawrence's publicist called it a "flagrant violation of privacy" and said "authorities will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos."

And Lawrence is not alone. Other targeted celebs include Rihanna and model Kate Upton.

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead was also exposed. She tweeted to the hackers, "Hope you feel great about yourselves."

It's not clear where the hackers obtained the photos, but Internet security experts believe they may have been stored on one or more cloud servers. More than 300 million people worldwide use cloud technology.

"I think there are a lot of folks, especially celebrities, don't take their information security seriously," said Jeff Schilling, a cloud security expert.

Sometimes, the problem is weak password systems.

"In some cases, those security controls aren't put in place, and it allows them to throw as many as 500,000 passwords at an account until it accepts one," Schilling said.

So what can you do to keep your private pictures safe? Experts say you can easily access a second layer of password security.

"Google calls it two-factor authentication," said Arik Hesseldahl, senior editor of "Apple has a similar system. They call it two-step verification. You should search for it. You have to look for it a little bit, but it's really easy to set up. And it adds an extra layer of security that would have made this hack almost impossible to carry out."

The FBI says it is aware of the allegations and is investigating them.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.