Kaley Cuoco Pictures Leak: Photos, Video That Appear to be Part of Massive Hack Allegedly Surface Online

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
September 1, 2014 Updated: September 19, 2014

Leaked pictures of Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco appears to show the actress without clothes on.

The photos show Cuoco in what appears to be a dressing room.

MORE: Kaley Cuoco Nude Photos: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Responds to Naked Pictures Leak in Interview (+Video)

Other graphic pictures of Cuoco also appear to be part of the massive hack, along with at least one video.

The pictures were accessed when hackers directly targeted a range of celebrities, Apple said on Tuesday.

Cuoco commented on the leak on Tuesday, posting a picture on Instagram that showed her and her husband.

The picture shows them at a beach with bathing suits but includes several portions blurred as if they don’t have clothes on.

“What a fun day that was, frolicking with my hubs on the beaches of Mexico! Feels like we forgot something?
 Cuoco said, seemingly making fun of the whole situation.

Kaley Cuoco arrives at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.  (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Kaley Cuoco arrives at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Selena Gomez are among the alleged victims. The pictures have been circulating across many websites after appearing to originate on 4Chan.

Some representatives of the clients involved or clients themselves have dismissed the pictures as fake, such as Victoria Justice.

“These so called nudes of me are FAKE people,” Justice said via Twitter.

Others have said that the pictures of themselves are real.

Jennifer Lawrence has not directly commented but a representative said in a statement: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, an actress is on the so-called master list of names that are allegedly victims of the hack, said via Twitter that the pictures of her are real.

“Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked,” she said.

“To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”


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See an Associated Press update below.

Celeb hacking scandal shows digital vulnerability 

Epoch Times Photo

In this Monday, June 6, 2011 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about iCloud at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The circulation of nude photographs stolen from celebrities’ online accounts has thrown a spotlight on the security of cloud computing, a system used by a growing number of Americans to store personal information over the Internet. On Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 Apple acknowledged the security breakdown and blamed it on intruders who were able to figure out usernames and passwords and bypass other safeguards. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

LOS ANGELES—To keep private pictures private, never upload them online.

That’s the advice experts offer after hackers broke into female celebrities’ personal accounts, stole nude photos and posted them on the web. Jennifer Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have said they were victims of the hack attack.

Federal investigators are looking into the theft, and Apple confirmed Tuesday that while individual accounts were breached, its iCloud and Find My iPhone services remained secure.

This latest hacking scandal is another reminder that locking down digital data is a must for public figures.

“It shows that celebrities, like the rest of us, are not as attuned to Internet security as they should be,” said marketing expert Dorie Clark. “Like many regular couples, celebrities probably enjoy taking racy photographs, but they have to recognize there are people out there who are inherently interested in what they’re doing, and want to either make money or make a name for themselves by getting at those photos.”

It could be embarrassing for anyone to have their nude image shown online, but most people aren’t at risk of being targeted by hackers in this way, said Gary Zembow, who helps celebrities secure their data as founder of Hollywood Tech Consulting.

“If you accept that some celebrities need bodyguards,” he said, “then their personal, private data needs a version of that, as well.”

Individuals and companies increasingly use Internet-based “cloud” storage for images and other data. But such data can become more vulnerable once uploaded online, said professor Lance Larson, an instructor at San Diego State University’s Graduate Program in Homeland Security.

“The cloud is like a storage locker,” he said. “Are you the only person with the key? Or does the storage-unit owner also have a key?”

In short: “Don’t put a document or photo online or in the cloud if you don’t want it to get out at some point,” he said.

It is unclear when and in what context the targeted actresses created the nude images. Winstead tweeted Sunday that the intimate pictures she took with her husband “in the privacy of our home” had long been deleted. “I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this,” she wrote.

Even though such hacking is illegal — the man who stole nude photos of Scarlett Johansson was convicted of federal wiretapping and unauthorized access to a computer — ensuring that all the illicit images are removed from all the sites that posted them is a never-ending challenge that one expert likened to a game of “whack-a-mole.”

So how can celebrities — and others — protect their privacy in the Internet era?

Remember that all digital media, even with privacy controls, can become public, said professor Karen North, director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the University of Southern California.

“What you think is private is public, and what you think is temporary is permanent,” she said. “Once you share it with somebody, you no longer control the intellectual property.”

To really keep something private, don’t upload it and don’t share it.

Also, log off the Internet and turn off the computer when you’re done using it, Larson suggested.

“If you don’t take that device offline,” he said, “you’re providing 24 hours a day, seven days a week of a potentially unmonitored computer on the Internet.”

Be mindful of wireless networks as well — especially celebrities whose homes can often be located on “star maps” or shown during Hollywood tours. Zembow notes that anyone could pull up in front of the house and break into its Wi-Fi system.

“The simplest two words are strong passwords,” he said.

Finally, those insistent upon taking sexy photos ought to consider using an offline device not connected to the Internet, and keep it locked in a safe. Or go retro and use a Polaroid.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.