It happened to Jennifer Lawrence and it was awful. Emma Watson, Miley Cyrus and countless others have also had their privacy breached buy hackers.
Last week, Selena Gomez’s Instagram was hacked and pictures of a naked Justin Bieber were splashed all over her page.
It’s become so common that one top criminal defense lawyer says stars how have to take routine measures to secure their accounts—like hiring an entire cybersecurity team in addition to agents, managers, and assistants, in order to stay one step ahead of hackers.
“It’s easy for hackers to take someone’s Instagram or get into someone’s iCloud,” says high-powered San Diego criminal defense attorney David Shapiro, who adds that when a celeb’s identity gets hacked there are often unintended consequences, like losing a campaign or a role over something that wasn’t their fault.
“For the hackers, it’s for money, clout, fame within the hacking community,” David explains. “It’s a criminal community run like a sophisticated drug organization, the low level hackers often don’t see, or even know, the people running it at the top.”
David who has represented a fair share of identity thieves and hackers as a defense lawyer, says hackers they can be anywhere in the world and they get info in an instant.
“More than any group of people, athletes or movie stars need to be on top of it,” he adds, “If someone finds a compromising photo, their marketability short term and long term is affected because their clean cut image is ruined.”
David advises that it would be a sound investment to have an IT team and cybersecurity defense team on full-time as staff for celebrities.
“I would invest significantly in a cyber security team to eliminate the risk and to give you peace of mind to live your life within reason,” he says. “A team can advise on passwords, monitor stuff, stay one step ahead, see what’s been vulnerable…they can run your phone, router, run it almost as a government security situation to eliminate these hackers.”
He says celebs need to start viewing a cybersecurity team as a sound investment, like an agent, or a manager.
“People need to be aware the more public these stories get. Once they realize it can happen to them they can fall victim too.”
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