Homeland Security investigating Leslie Jones website hack
Thu., Aug. 25, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it is investigating the hack of Leslie Jones’ website that revealed several private details of the actress-comedian’s life.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of Homeland Security, said Thursday that its New York office is looking into the breach that exposed the driver’s license, passport and intimate photos of the “Saturday Night Live” star, along with hateful and racist images.
ICE Public Affairs Officer Rachael Yong Yow said the agency does not release information related to active investigations. Jones’ website was taken offline after the hack was exposed Wednesday.
The “Ghostbusters” actress was also targeted on Twitter last month with a barrage of racial slurs and obscene photos. She called on the social networking service to do more to curb harassment, and Twitter banned several users as a result.
In recent years, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Kate Upton have been among Hollywood actresses who’ve had stolen nude images of themselves posted online.
No charges have been filed against those who hacked and posted images of Lawrence, Upton and numerous other celebrities in a massive dump of intimate images of celebrities in August 2014.
Two men were recently convicted after federal prosecutors charged them with hacking into the accounts of several celebrities and stealing images and other personal information. However, neither of the men, Andrew Helton of Astoria, Oregon, nor Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is suspected of posting the stolen images online.
Helton was sentenced to six months in federal prison in July, half of the sentence prosecutors had sought. Helton pleaded guilty to stealing 161 nude or explicit photos from 13 people, including unidentified celebrities, and said his arrest forced him to confront his mental health issues. He is due to report to prison in October.
Collins’ sentencing date has not been set.
Johansson, Kunis and Aguilera were hacked by a Florida man, Christopher Chaney, who used publicly available information to obtain access to the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry. Chaney was sentenced to 10 years and remains in a low-security federal prison in Mississippi.
“I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed,” Johansson said in a tearful videotaped statement played in court before Chaney was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in December 2012.
Private information and images of celebrities are frequent targets for hackers. In 2012 a site posted credit reports, Social Security numbers and other financial info on celebrities, including Jay Z and his wife Beyonce, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher and many others.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.