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FBI hacking probe began before Scarlett Johansson photos leaked

September 17, 2011 |  7:37 am

Scarlett Johansson has enlisted the FBI after she says nude pictures of her were hacked

The FBI investigation into allegations of phone hacking of multiple Hollywood celebrities dates back a year and began well before news reports about Scarlett Johansson and other celebrities having their data breached, according to law enforcement sources.

The federal probe actually began in 2010 after allegations of people hacking into the phones and computers of several Hollywood figures first surfaced, the sources said. That probe is continuing, they added.

Over the last few weeks, there have been reports of young celebrities being victimized by hackers who obtained compromising photos, including pictures of Johansson.

On Wednesday, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told The Times that the agency was looking into "a series of computer intrusions" by hackers, but would not identify any of the alleged victims.

"I can confirm that the FBI is investigating a series of computer intrusions targeting high-profile figures," Eimiller said.

People claiming to be a hacking group have said they are responsible, though the claim could not be verified.


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Photo: Scarlett Johansson at the 2011 Academy Awards. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times