The man who may be responsible for hacking and leaking nude photos of scores of A-list female entertainers, athletes and musicians — including those of Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence, singer Jill Scott, supermodel Kate Upton and gymnast McKayla Maroney — is a software engineer from Gwinnett County.
Bryan Hamade, 27, a Lawrenceville, Ga., resident is accused of leaking hundreds of naked celebrities into cyberspace. The pictures are believed to have been accessed by a hacker digging through the iCloud, an Apple storage program that allows users to sync content between phones, computers, tablets and other devices.
The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation to track down the source of leaks and the person(s) responsible.
Hamade was identified as “the hacker” by Reddit. And Buzzfeed said users ” “went through Hamade’s previous Reddit posts and recognized the hard drive and PC name” as the same one tied to the original leaks.
He said he is not “the hacker” but described himself as an “idiot” who tried to profit off the naked celebrity photos.
“I am not behind this,” Hamade told BuzzFeed. “It was so stupid — I saw a lot of people posting the actual leaks and bitcoin addresses and I’ve read a lot about bitcoin and how they are valuable and I thought, oh cool I’ll get free bitcoins.”
Hamade admitted that he tried to make money off the photos in the interview. Hamade has since deleted all of his social media accounts.
“I am just an idiot who tried to pull one over on 4chan and lost big time and stupidly left this identifying information. They took my proof and back traced it — it isn’t remotely true. I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts.”
He and his parents did not answer their phone as new agencies began gathering outside their home.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the leak but declined to provide specifics.
“The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.”