Emilio Herrera: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The fappening, Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak, iCloud celeb photos hacked

A recently unsealed court document reveals the FBI raided a Chicago home in connection to the investigation of last summer’s leak of hundreds of nude photos and videos of celebrities known as “The Fappening” and “Celebgate.”

The target of the raid was Emilio Herrera, who lives in the South Side home with his parents, according to the court documents, which were first posted by Gawker.

The leaked nude photos spread quickly across the Internet after being posted on sites like Reddit and 4Chan during Labor Day weekend. The victims included Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kaley Cuoco, Jessica Brown Findlay and Abigail Spencer. The photos were stolen through targeted attacks on celebrities’ iCloud accounts, Apple said.

The FBI has not made any arrests in the case and Herrera has not been named as a suspect.

In the affidavit, the FBI says the possible charges connected to the investigation include conspiracy, computer fraud, fraud in connection with email, wire fraud and copyright infringement.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Computers at Herrera’s House Were Used to Access Celebrities’ E-Mail & iCloud Accounts, the FBI Says

The FBI raided this home at 4641 South Washentaw Avenue in Chicago in connection with the investigation into "The Fappening." (Google Maps)

The FBI raided this home at 4641 South Washentaw Avenue in Chicago in connection with the investigation into “The Fappening.” (Google Maps)

In the search warrant application, which was filed in October 2014, FBI Special Agent Josh Sadowsky writes, “Based on victim account records obtained from Apple, one or more computers used at (Herrera’s home) access or attempted to access without authorization multiple celebrities’ e-mail and iCloud accounts over the course of several months.”

Not much is known about Herrera, other than that he lives in Chicago. The FBI seized computers, cellphones, USB storage devices, floppy disks and a Kindle Fire from his home.

Sadowsky, the FBI agent leading the investigation, is part of the agency’s Cybercrimes Unit and is based in Los Angeles. He was also the lead investigator in the case of Christopher Chaney, who was sentenced in 2010 to 10 years in prison for hacking into celebrities’ phones. Chaney’s victims included Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Renee Olstead and Christina Aguilera.

Sadowsky said in his affidavit:

The FBI is currently investigating online leaks of private photographs, including nude and sexually explicit photographs of dozens of female celebrities. … that began on or about August 31, 2014, and which are ongoing. Based on interview with several victims, the FBI currently believes that many of the photographs were obtained without authorization from the Apple iCloud account of either the victim or his/her significant other.

Sadowsky said that 572 unique iCloud accounts were accessed 3,263 times between May 2013 and August 2014 by an IP address traced to Herrera’s house. The majority of the 572 accounts accessed by the IP address traced to Herrera belonged to “celebrities, models or their friends and families,” Sadowsky says.

Additionally, the IP address was used to attempt to reset 1,987 unique iCloud account passwords about 4,980 times during that same period, though it’s not clear if those were celebrities’ accounts.

Sadowsky says a common way for a person to gain unauthorized access to an iCloud account is through phishing, with victims commonly receiving a request for them to change their password through email, text message or iMessage.

Read the search warrant application below:


2. The Affidavit Lists Several Victims Who are Actresses & Models

6-9-2015 3-16-08 PM

Several of the victims are listed in the affidavit, and have been interviewed by the FBI. They are identified only by their initials, “A.S., C.H., H.S., J.M., O.W., A.K., E.B., and A.H.”

Based on the celebrities who have reportedly been victimized by the leaks, Gawker believes they are, “Abigail Spencer, Christina Hendricks Hope Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Emily Browning and Amber Heard.”

FBI Special Agent Josh Sadowsky said in the court documents that the celebrities identified by their initials had their Apple iCloud accounts accessed without their permission between May 31, 2013 and August, 31, 2014, by an IP address traced to Herrera’s home.


3. One Victim, Believed to be Abigail Spencer, Recalled Being Locked Out of Her Accounts

Abigail Spencer is believed to be a victim of The Fappening hacks. (Getty)

Abigail Spencer is believed to be a victim of The Fappening hacks. (Getty)

According to the court documents, A.S. (believed to be actress Abigail Spencer), recalled being locked out of her online accounts during the time the FBI believes the hacking was taking place.

A.S. told the FBI the photos were taken on her iPhone between October and November 2013 and April and May 2014, and were sent to her boyfriend through iMessage. She said between April and May 2014, she was getting locked out of her online accounts and her password wasn’t working. She used iCloud on her phone, as well as Gmail for her email, she told the FBI.

Another actress, identified as A.H. and thought to be Amber Heard, told the FBI about 54 private photographs of her were leaked online. She said the photos were taken with her iPhone between November 2014 and 2014, but only some of the leaked photos were sent to her fiance. Others were never sent and were only stored on her phone, she said.


4. Another Home in Chicago Was Also Raided

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that another home in Chicago was also raided by the FBI in connection with the investigation. The target of that raid was not named in the Sun-Times report, and the search warrant application remains sealed.

The newspaper reported that the search of the home on South Narragansett was the result of an IP address there accessing 330 unique iCloud accounts between May and August 2014, with 291 registered outside Illinois. The accounts were accessed more than 600 times.

The Sun-Times said a man who answered the door of the Narragansett apartment building declined to talk about the raid, and a woman told a reporter, “There’s no comment here.”


5. Jennifer Lawrence Became Distraught During an Interview with the FBI About the Hacks

Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Scandal

Jennifer Lawrence was one of the victims of “The Fappening.” (Getty)

Another court document, which remains sealed by was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, details an interview between the FBI and actress Jennifer Lawrence that had to be cut short because she became “very distraught.”

“J.L. stated she was having an anxiety attack and was visibly shaken,” the agent wrote in the court document.

Lawrence spoke out about the leak in a Vanity Fair interview, calling the hack a “sex crime.”

“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,””she told the magazine. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who is not named in either affidavit, also spoke out about the hacks.