Hundreds of revealing photographs of female celebrities have been leaked online, reportedly after Apple’s iCloud service was hacked.
Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Ariana Grande are said to be among the celebrities shown in the photographs posted on web forum 4chan.
Anonymous 4chan users claim the images had been taken from the celebrities’ iCloud accounts, according to The Verge.
Apple’s iCloud service is designed to enable iPhone, iPad and Mac users to synchronise images, settings, calendar information and other data between devices.
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But concerns over iCloud security have led many enterprises to implement mobile device management systems that enable administrators to enforce policies which control what data is passed on to iCloud.
More than 100 A-list celebrities are thought to have been targeted, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian, singer Rihanna and models Candice Swanepoel, Cara Delevingne and Kelly Brook.
More on Apple's iCloud
It is unclear when the iCloud service was compromised as one celebrity whose photos were stolen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, said the images concerned had been deleted years ago.
This either means the hacker has been collecting the images for some years, or the images are still available in iCloud to those who know where to find them.
While Winstead and Lawrence have confirmed the pictures of them are real, Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice have said the images are fake.
A spokesperson for Jennifer Lawrence warned that anyone posting the stolen pictures will be prosecuted.
In 2012, a man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for hacking the private email accounts of celebrities including Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson.
Apple has so far not responded to media requests for comment on the alleged compromise of its iCloud service.