Washington: With more celebrities like Jessica Alba and Christina Aguilera added to the FBI`s probe into hacked nude photos, one question remains: How do hackers illegally obtain these very private, personal photos?
According to IT expert and software developer Yasser Hamed, hackers can access your personal computer data and accounts in two ways - by figuring out account passwords and by planting malicious computer programs onto a computer in order to retrieve personal information.
“By far the most common method is quite simply password theft. The problem is that with advances in computer processing power, computers are now able to process larger amounts of data in a much smaller amount of time. A password is just a bunch of characters, and it can be relatively easy to program a script that can run through all possible permutations until a hacker achieves success,” he told Fox News.
“This problem is compounded by the fact that people tend to use passwords that are easy to remember and which they can relate to such as pet names, family members, school they went to etc. With the advent of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter, this type of information is even easier to attain,” he added.
The other common hacking approach is planting a malicious computer program known as ‘Trojan horse’ onto a target’s computer.
“It can be used to control the host remotely and hence allow the hacker access to the data stored on hard drives. A Trojan Horse can even be used to activate a webcam on the infected machine and allow the hacker to attain photographs from inside the premises without you even being aware,” said Hamed.
“All a Trojan horse needs to succeed is for the user to execute it,” he added.
“I always tell my celebrity clients that the downside of being famous is that people are interested in [seeing your naked photos], so they should be guarded in these situations. [If they don’t like that] then they should drop out of sight, stop traveling the world, stop making all that money so no one cares about them anymore,” Los Angeles entertainment and IP expert attorney Jonathan Blinderman told Pop Tarts.
“But the reality is they like their lives and the cash they make so they choose to be in the world but they should be guarded. Keep them off phones. Keep them encrypted and not accessible to hackers,” he added.