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Celebrity nude photos surface, FBI responds

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Jennifer Lawrence arrives on the red carpet for the 86th Academy Awards on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood. Lawrence is one of several female stars whose private photos were released online Sunday.

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities were leaked this weekend. The FBI says it is investigating what may be an underground celebrity nude trading ring.

James Cook covers technology for Business Insider. He says, though celebrity's have been hacked before, we have never seen anything at this scale. It appears that it's taken months for someone to put together this collection of hacked images.

Presumably, these photos could bring a pretty penny to the person who first got a hold of them, whether they were obtained illegally or not. But Cook points out, the hacker (or hackers) are not profiting off the distribution of these images.  Hackers use images like these, according to Cook, to "curry favor" among their peers. One hacker might post something to show off, and another hacker might follow suit to try to one-up him. Says Cook, "So, you can see how something like this can snowball."


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