By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
The Monday after his site shut down, Moore appeared as a guest on Dr. Drew's HLN show. That's when things got even weirder.
Charlotte Laws, the mother of a 24-year-old California-based actress whose naked body had appeared in January on Is Anyone Up, confronted Moore on the show. Laws told Dr. Drew that her daughter had taken nude self-portraits in her room with her cell phone, then e-mailed them to herself to store the images on her computer. The pictures had been in her e-mail account for months when her daughter was "criminally hacked." Within days, the photos turned up on Moore's site. Laws described it as a case of "cyber rape," a term that Moore later mocked.
"Your daughter said she was hacked, correct?" Moore asked Laws over a split-screen. "Usually people who are embarrassed, who make mistakes, usually try and fall back on something else. I'm sure she sent the pictures to a million different guys and just ended up on my site, just like everybody else." In other words: You're in denial, and your daughter is lying.
Moore's young fans mercilessly taunted Laws on Twitter and Tumblr. "The fact that @CharlotteLaws actually thinks her daughter took a nude picture just to send to HERSELF?" typed @KateyCanFlyy. "No wonder she was CYBER RAPED lol." @NewYiddySports congratulated Moore on his prime-time guest spot but critiqued, "You should have referenced A.Weiner when the mom cried hacking." They called her every name in the book and created animated GIFs of her face.
Even Moore, who had feigned an apology on camera, joined the online attack. "The cyber rape mom from dr. Phill [sic]"—wrong TV therapist, same difference—"made up the whole story," he tweeted. "Real life troll."
But Laws stood by her story, explaining on her personal blog that after her daughter's photos were posted, she'd embarked on her own offline investigation. "I randomly chose 25 individuals who had been uploaded onto the site within a 14-day period,'" she recounted. "My findings were astonishing: A full 40 percent of the victims I located had been hacked only days before their photos were loaded onto the site. In most cases, the scam began through Facebook and ended when the thief gained access to the victim's e-mail account. The hacker did not nab credit card information. He or she seemed to have only one goal: to steal images for Is Anyone Up?"
No one believed Kristen, the 19-year-old college sophomore who appeared in our original Hunter Moore profile under the same pseudonym, when she said she had also been the victim of that kind of attack. On Thursday, February 23, the Long Island native came home from soccer practice to discover she had been locked out of her online accounts. When she got into her Facebook account again, her chat icon was talking with someone she barely knew on her friend list, a New York DJ named Tanner Caldwell.
According to a screen grab of their chat, her avatar had asked for Caldwell's phone number, with an urgency emphasized with 12 question marks, two exclamation points, and a photo of an adorable girl. He provided his number, but demanded to know why. "My Gmail needs to be reset, but I lost my phone," her icon offered, "I think I just sent my verification code or whatever to your phone, lol, can you check to see if you just got a text, please?"
Caldwell was immediately suspicious. After some hesitant back-and-forth, he typed, "This seems mad fishy," adding, "out of your 2,700 friends, you don't know someone closer to you to send your verification code to?" The response was masterfully played. "I don't know, you were on my top chat and cute, lol."
He asked what she was doing Friday; she flirted back while begging for the code. Eventually, he gave it up, and she sent back a smiley face. Within minutes, he realized he'd been locked out of his e-mail. Then it occurred to him that the access code he'd just sent her icon was his own.
The same day they were hacked, Kristen's nudes showed up on Is Anyone Up, photos she swears to this day were never sent to anybody. (They were tasteful self-portraits taken in the hopes that, when the time was right, they'd be gifts to a long-distance paramour who stopped talking with her once the photos showed up on Moore's site.) The only thing she had in her defense was an e-mail address that she can't dislodge from her Hotmail account to this day: email@example.com.
Caldwell confirms that firstname.lastname@example.org was his infiltrator's address, too. "It was definitely the same guy," he says.
Is it really so easy to hack a Gmail account? See for yourself: Go to the Gmail login screen and click on the frequently ignored link underneath the sign-in menu, "Can't access your account?" Three options appear; choose "I forgot my password." Type in a Gmail address—any active Gmail address—and if there's a phone number associated with the account, you're given three more options, one of which is "Get a verification code on my phone." You don't even need to know the phone number. Just hit "continue" and an unrelated six-digit code will appear in a text to the account owner's phone. Type in that verification code—a number easily obtained by a masquerading e-impostor—and you're in. The first thing you're prompted to do is immediately change your password, thereby blocking out the original owner.