The FBI seized the home of a Chicago man last fall in connection with the massive hack attack that exposed nude photos of dozens of celebrities and rocked the entertainment world, officials confirm.
According to search warrant affidavits obtained this week by NBC News that were recently unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the FBI’s search for the culprit led them to a man named Emilio Herrera, 30, last October. Investigators found that a single computer, owned by Herrera, linked to two email addresses accessed compromised accounts.
The affidavit, however, did not list Herrera as a suspect.
A representative for the FBI Los Angeles Bureau, which is handling the case, could not comment on the ongoing investigation, but did confirm that a search was conducted on Oct. 16 on the South Side of Chicago.
Documents apparently say that nearly 600 accounts could have been breached by the hacking attack, and that 2,500 iCloud accounts were targeted. There have been no documents revealing what FBI investigators found in Herrera’s home, if anything, in their October search.
Apple confirmed last October that the certain celebrity photos were accessed via a “very targeted attack” on its services, but maintained that iCloud was not breached.
The story broke over Labor Day weekend in 2014, as nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and more were leaked online in one of the biggest celebrity hacking stories in history, and authorities launched investigations soon after. Images first leaked on image-sharing site 4chan and then spread to other websites, including Reddit, which banned the subreddit dedicated to the hacked photos.
Speaking out on the hack last October, Lawrence told Vanity Fair: “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. 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.”