Actress Emma Watson has once again found herself in the media limelight as reports of a hacking attack circulate.
According to recent reports, private pictures of the star have been illegally acquired and are making rounds alongside several nude photos on a dark web forum known as 4chan.
The original people behind the hacking claim that the nude photos depict the actress.
These claims have not been confirmed and seem very unlikely.
The dark web post was posted anonymously on the forum and deletes itself automatically after a short while.
A number of internet users on a Reddit thread and Twitter came forward with unsubstantiated claims that they had indeed seen the nude photos of the actress.
The Reddit comments have since been deleted.
Emma Watson’s representatives have confirmed that none of the stolen and leaked photos are nude photos.
It was initially reported that they were nude photos since they were posted alongside pictures of an unidentified woman in a bath whose face had been cropped out.
The 26-year-old Harry Potter star denied that the pictured woman was of her.
However, she did not confirm that some pictures are of her.
A representative of Watson confirmed in an interview with The Telegraph on the hacking attack, stating that they were from a swimsuit fitting session two years ago and were stolen from Watson’s computer.
According to the spokesperson, Emma Watson had enlisted the services of a stylist and the photos documented the event.
The personal photos were posted on 4chanlast week following the hacking.
Other posts indicated that they were also being circulated in other encrypted sections of the internet.
The following day, Emma Watson made an announcement stating that she would be consulting her lawyers to deal with the incident.
It is important to note that Emma Watson is not the only celebrity to be affected by the hacking attack.
Personal photos of Amanda Seyfried were also making rounds on the dark web that week.
Seyfried has not commented personally on the hacking incident and the leaked photos.
Watson’s private photo leaks came just two days before Beauty and the Beast was set to be released, and she had been promoting the film in recent weeks.
It has also not been long since the actress was in the limelight for her photo shoot with Vanity Fair.
Watson drew criticism from critics following the release of a featured photo spread.
The spread included a picture of the actress posing with her breasts exposed partially, and critics felt that the photo undermined Watson’s feminist ideology.
Emma Watson hit back claiming that the photo had nothing to do with feminism and proceeded to point out that the reaction was a clear indication of gender equality issues that she had been working hard to address.
This is definitely not the first time Emma Watson has been the victim of a hacking attack, alleged or otherwise.
A few years ago, a countdown was posted on 4chan threatening to leak nude photos of her when the time ran out.
This hacking threat was in response to a speech Watson gave about gender equality as a United Nations Ambassador for Women.
Fortunately, this threat turned out to a hoax.
At the time, Watson stated that she was not at all worried about the hacking threat, since she knew that the photos did not exist.
It seems like Watson is a favorite target for dark web hackers seeking to tarnish her career.
In that same year, several female celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Dunst, Kate Upton and the Gabrielle Union were the victims of hacking attacks that involved actual nude pictures.
This hacking incident was among the largest celebrity privacy breach events managing to capture the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s attention.
A 36-year-old man from Pennsylvania and a 29-year-old man from Illinois were charged with the breach, receiving 9 months and 18 months respectively.
Other arrests have been made in regards to celebrity hacking incidences.
Just last month, 29-year-old Edward Majerczyk from Chicago received a nine-month sentence and $5,700 restitution fine for hacking the accounts of more than 30 celebrities and acquiring private pictures and other information.
With the Emma Watson hacking incident, the actress has revealed that she will be taking legal action and will not be commenting further.
This is also the case for Amanda Seyfried.