Homeland Security has ‘open investigation’ into Leslie Jones hacking

The federal agency is investigating the cyberattack against the Ghostbusters actor after her personal information and explicit images were leaked online

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the cyberattack against Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones one day after her personal information and explicit images were leaked online.

In a short statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said that the Homeland Security investigations unit in New York has an open investigation into this matter.

As a matter of agency policy and in order to protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation, we will not disclose any details, the statement said.

As a matter of agency policy, we are unable to disclose any information related to an active investigation, a spokeswoman said.

News of the inquiry came less than 24 hours after the comedians website JustLeslie.com was taken down after hackers reportedly published photos of her drivers license and passport, along with nude images that allegedly came from her iCloud account.

Her site was also apparently defaced with a video of the gorilla Harambe, marking the latest racist attack against the Saturday Night Live actor, who has faced an onslaught of harassment and online bullying this year.

Jones, who is usually a prolific tweeter, has yet to comment on the attack.

This is not the first time federal investigators have gotten involved in high-profile celebrity hacking cases. Department of Homeland Security agents led an investigation last year that led to the arrest of Alonzo Knowles, a Bahamian man, who had allegedly hacked into celebrities email accounts to steal unreleased movie and TV scripts along with private sex tapes.

Knowles reportedly told an undercover agent that he had dossiers on at least 130 accounts of stars and executives in entertainment, sports and media.

The FBI also investigated the attack on Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, whose naked pictures were exposed in 2014, also allegedly from her Apple iCloud account.

Last year, Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal was also forced to leave her position after a hack revealed embarrassing emails that included racially insensitive remarks about Barack Obama. The US government said that hack was linked to North Korea.

Since the Jones hacking, many celebrities have tweeted their support for the comedian, and commentators have noted that black women in powerful positions often face coordinated harassment campaigns and persistent racist and misogynistic attacks.

Jones has repeatedly spoken out online bullying, and earlier this year Twitter responded by permanently banning Milo Yiannopoulos, a British columnist with the rightwing website Breitbart, who had aggressively targeted the comic.

Jones representatives have not responded to requests for comment, and DHS officials did not immediately respond to inquiries on Thursday.

An FBI spokeswoman said Homeland Security was handling the matter.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/25/homeland-security-leslie-jones-hacking-investigation

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