Voyeurs seeking to ogle nude snaps of a host of female celebrities; including X-Men star Jennifer Lawrence, singer Rhianna and socialite Kim Kardashian, have been warned that anyone who posts or shares the offending imagery will be prosecuted.
The haul of material was obtained by hackers breaking into Apple’s iCloud to steal personal material from up to 100 female victims, although some stars have asserted that the images of them have been faked.
A spokesperson for Lawrence however acknowledged that the images were real, before threatening legal action against anyone caught disseminating them.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newsbeat, they said: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Another victim of the leaks, A Good Day to Die Hard actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, opted for a different tack, by simply going offline when the furore broke.
Winstead said: “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves," she tweeted.
To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.
— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014
"Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.”
Apple has declined to comment on the alleged hacking of its iCloud service, coming as an unwelcome distraction ahead of its launch of the iPhone 6.