The celebrity community is no stranger to intrusion — the media, the paparazzi and overzealous fans all seek unfettered access to their favorite stars. However, Hollywood’s elite now face a new, unprecedented threat to their privacy.
A group of hackers dubbing themselves Hollywood Leaks has been successfully accessing the private records of celebrities and have no qualms about sharing what they find; the organization told Gawker.com they are simply “here to facilitate the free flow of information.”
Hollywood Leaks appears to be an offshoot of Anonymous, a well-known hacking collective that originated on the online imageboard 4chan. Anonymous has made headlines in the past for their use of Guy Fawkes’ masks as well as some very public attacks made on Scientology in 2008.
Over the past few weeks, Hollywood Leaks has been responsible for a number of celebrity hacks including:
- Distributing the confidential script for the new Tom Cruise movie, “Rock of Ages.”
- Distributing the phone numbers of celebs including Ashley Greene, Joey Fatone, Miley Cyrus, Lil Jon, and Mark Cuban.
- Leaking country singer Julianne Hough’s health insurance info, cell-phone pics, and an unreleased album.
- Leaking topless pics of VMA nominated rapper Kreayshawn and sharing them with her 300,000 Twitter followers.
As with most hacker groups like Anonymous or LulzSec, Hollywood Leaks claims they are in it for the Lulz, an Internet term which in this context refers to felonious amusement. This may explain the anti-Semitic outburst the group posted to YouTube on Aug. 28.
“Attention Hollywood. We are Anonymous. We have been watching you. We have been listening to you. You have been allowed to run free too long. The time of Jew control media is over.”
Two days later, the group tweeted “LOL at people calling us anti-semites. Its for the LULZ. Get over it.”
The FBI has not commented on the group or their plans to investigate, but Hollywood Leaks shows little evidence of slowing down. Their manifesto video ends with this ominous sign-off: “We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”