By Anna Merlan
By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Darwin BondGraham
By Keegan Hamilton
By Anna Merlan
By Anna Merlan
By Tessa Stuart
Hunter Moore said he would set fire to the Voice's office if I wrote this. Actually, the 26-year-old's exact words were, "Honestly, I will be fucking furious, and I will burn down fucking The Village Voice headquarters if you fucking write anything saying I have an FBI investigation."
Some background: Hunter Moore is a self-made Internet villain. For more than a year, the Sacramento native published nude cell-phone photos of 18- to 30-year-olds, usually against their will, on his blog Is Anyone Up. Some of the people posted were publicly notable: pop-punk bassists, an Ultimate Frisbee champ, an American Idol finalist, the founder of Dream Water, Twilight star Kiowa Gordon. The majority of them were not: a Taco Bell employee from Orlando; a wheelchair-bound St. Louis community-college student; a high school English teacher in Hamilton City, California. What made these online betrayals even more vindictive was that they appeared alongside the unwitting model's full name, social-media profile, and city of residence—private citizens in vulnerably explicit positions, just a Google search away from friends, enemies, parents, employers.
Just as troubling was that publishing these nudes was a legal act. Is Anyone Up branded itself as a "revenge porn" site, encouraging angry exes to send, anonymously, their former partners' nudes. Many people did. So the breasts, penises, and asses on Hunter Moore's site were, the story went, supplied by avenging cuckolds, embittered former friends, and other people with scores to settle. Because this content came from third-party users, Moore wasn't legally held responsible, thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the same powerful shield that prevents Facebook (or the Voice, for that matter) from being sued for what users post.
Is Anyone Up quickly became a lurker's paradise, a life-ruiner, and a public-shame catalog. As the site's popularity spiked, Hunter Moore became a cult of personality, the anti–Mark Zuckerberg, a polarizing figure the BBC called "the Net's most hated man." He received countless death threats, cease-and-desist letters, and a Facebook ban. Last summer, a San Francisco woman he'd posted stabbed him in the shoulder. Infinitely quotable and ruthlessly unapologetic, Moore also drew an army of online supporters, kids who called him a devious genius, professed their love for him, and wanted to have sex with him, which he made a sport of publicly. Anderson Cooper tapped Moore as a guest, a Nightline crew came to his house, and I wrote a cover profile about him for this newspaper.
But along the way, as more unsuspecting subjects ended up on Is Anyone Up, more of them claimed that they'd been hacked—that someone had actually gained access to their e-mail accounts and stolen their images, which had not, in fact, been previously sent to people who later submitted them for publication after relationships soured.
Naturally, this excuse sounded flimsy, if not preposterous. "Everybody can claim they're getting hacked," Moore told me in April. "That's the easiest way to fucking get out of it—'Oh, I fucking shoved my finger in my asshole, and I sent it to this dude who looked hella cute and had a face tattoo on Twitter. And I'm gonna say I got hacked.' Let's be real, you're a fucking whore, and you just met the dude, and you thought he was cute."
That conversation happened the same day as a stunning development: Moore suddenly sold his domain to an anti-bullying site, bullyville.com, and effectively shut down Is Anyone Up on April 19. "I'm fucking sick of looking at little kids naked, and I'm sick of my fucking site. I'm sick of fucking people calling me a 'faggot' and telling me to kill myself," he told me. "I'm tired of fucking looking out the window and thinking somebody's going to fucking come through and murder me in my sleep." He insisted that his decision to shutter Is Anyone Up had nothing to do with law-enforcement pressure. "Fuck no, I would fucking literally murder somebody right now if I had a fucking gun and [that person] wanted to make those allegations."
The Voice has learned that the FBI's Los Angeles Internet Crime division has been actively investigating Hunter Moore and Is Anyone Up for months, according to four people who say they've been interviewed by the FBI about his now-shuttered site. The case's focus, according to those familiar with the investigation, was Moore's possible connection to a hacker who has repeatedly broken into the inboxes of countless victims, rifled through their attachments, and submitted the accompanying nudes to Is Anyone Up. (A Los Angeles FBI spokesperson would not confirm or deny such an investigation.)
"The FBI has been in contact with me," Moore admitted during the same conversation in which he threatened to burn down the Voice. "I have nothing to hide."
Bullyville.com is a month-old property run by former Marine James McGibney, another controversial website owner whose flagship property, cheaterville.com, asks for people to expose unfaithful scalawags. He also relies on the Communications Decency Act of 1996's protections to run cheaterville.com. "Under no circumstances are any photos, posts, anything that was previously on Is Anyone Up servers ever allowed to be made into a public domain again," he explained about his company's purchase of Moore's domain. "We could do this, and then maybe Hunter starts up another website two months from now and puts all this stuff back up, and we made sure that couldn't happen."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caldwell confirms that email@example.com 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.
In other words, if a hacker knows only your Gmail address and can figure out how to access your phone, he's already most of the way into your shit.
That's what happened to a twentysomething woman from the Northern California we'll call Tanya, who has never met or spoken with Kristen. Over Facebook chat, a panicked friend typed that she'd lost her phone and asked Tanya for help. Tanya reflexively sent her e-mail address and phone number, and almost immediately, she got an alert that the password on her Yahoo account had been changed. She was momentarily confused. When she finally fought back into the account, her profile information was replaced with an e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That was January 7, 2012. "Two days later around midnight, I got weird messages from people, and I ignored them," Tanya recalls over the phone. "When I woke up the next morning, I had over 30 phone calls from people and over 400 friend requests from Facebook, and I had no idea what was going on." She'd been posted to Is Anyone Up, with her name, hometown, face—and someone else's nude body. Tanya had a shock of recognition: The photos of her breasts were actually those of her friend, pictures Tanya had taken during an exercising spell to help visually track her process. "When I actually looked at my e-mail, I didn't even remember having those."
Tanya is not the sort of person who takes nudes. She is extremely modest—and this was one of the most emotionally damaging scenarios she could imagine. "I didn't even leave my house for a week." When she finally gathered the courage to do an errand, something awful happened. "I went to Taco Bell, and someone came up to me and was like, 'Oh, I've seen you naked.'"
Tanya took no solace in the fact that the site's characteristically crude comments were flattering. ("Does this girl have any flaws?" was a stark contrast to the usual "Jesus, someone call Greenpeace and get her back in the water.") The fact that it wasn't her body didn't make it better; in some ways, the misunderstanding made the situation feel worse. She tried to get the photos down by e-mailing the site to no avail. Eventually, she started talking with other women who had been posted and discovered she wasn't the only one. "Everyone I talked with, we were all hacked by Gary Jones."
More than a month later, Tanya wrote to Jones and said that she knew he had hacked other people for the same reason.
On Monday, February 20, at 12:52 p.m., Tanya wrote, in part: "Do you know how much damage you are doing to people. . . . I have a question why?"
Almost four hours later, she got a reply.
All I can say is I'm sorry. Really. If it makes you feel better, I did nothing other then look at your pictures. Nothing financial or medical, I promise. I truly wish there was something I could do to make it up to you. I'm having a hard time, too. Please feel better and know that nothing else will come from this.
A hacker with a conscience. Also, a hacker who wasn't denying anything. A few hours later, Tanya wrote: "You and Hunter are invading my privacy. . . . I'm sorry, but I don't get how you can be having a hard time. "
He wrote back:
Actually, I just got my 3rd DUI and lost my job last week. . . . I'm 6 days sober. But I get it, that was my choice as opposed to you who did nothing wrong. If it's any comfort, you are absolutely beautiful, and that gives you a leg up on almost every other woman. Hopefully, in the next month, it will fade away, and you'll feel happy again. Want me to send your parents an e-mail for you explaining it to them?
That's the last message in the thread.
"Gary Jones," as it turns out, has been at this for a while. Google "email@example.com," and three anonymous forum posts—two from March 2011 and one from December 9, 2011—single out the address. "I recently got my e-mail password stolen from another account," reads a panicked message from March 15, 2011. "The person who has my account is firstname.lastname@example.org."
That same month, an Australian woman named Danni Suriano alerted her Facebook friends that she'd been hacked in a frantic status update. ("HACKER!!! ON MY PROFILE RIGHT NOW!! do not tell him anything about your contact info!! email@example.com.") On October 18, 2011, Suriano was posted on Is Anyone Up. (She didn't respond to our request for comment.)
"Gary Jones" has a Facebook profile; it doesn't mention his interest in nude photos. Instead, the page identifies him as a 32-year-old who hails from Belize, lives in Australia, and works for the plus-size agency BELLA Model Management. (Reached by e-mail, the director of BELLA Model Management told the Voice, "We don't have a Gary here.") The accompanying photo shows him as a beefy bodybuilder with a bad dragon tattoo, sunglasses on his head, and cartoon-hyena smile.
It's actually a circa-2008 Wikipedia image of Matthew Rush, a gay-porn megastar known for such titles as Splash Shots III and "the first 3-D gay porn feature film," Whorrey Potter and the Sorcerer's Balls. (Rush plays Voldemorecock—it's available on Blu-ray.) Rush's birth name is Gregory Grove, not Gary Jones. (Reached by e-mail, Grove said, "I have no idea who this person is.")
I e-mailed firstname.lastname@example.org, told him I'd heard a lot about him, and asked if he'd be willing to talk with me, even anonymously. There has been no response.
Hunter Moore never denied to reporters that Is Anyone Up received hacker submissions while it was active. "I'm sure there have been times that people have been hacked and ended up on the site," he told The Daily Beast in March. "But as far as Hunter Moore doing the hacking, that hasn't happened."
By April 19, the same day isanyoneup.com morphed into a bullyville.com ad, Moore was more definitive about the connection. "I've had tons of hackers give me shit," he told me over the phone, insisting that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the same federal law that has shielded his site from prosecution all along, absolves him of legal responsibility. (Legal experts, however, tell us that isn't the case.) "It's the same thing as Scarlett Johansson getting hacked. It always comes back on the hacker. I'm not gonna lie. I've paid people for content. I don't give a fuck. You can say that. If I've paid for content, they have to submit the same [way] as the user. It would all fall back on the user." Scarlett Johansson's hacker, Chris Chaney, faces 60 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines.
That said, even if Moore's money somehow found its way to a hacker, he insists he's not responsible. "If I paid for content, it wouldn't matter because they submitted it. It wouldn't matter. It would be like me leaving a fucking $100 bill on the sidewalk and somebody coming and picking that up and fucking throwing a picture on my lawn—it would be the same exact thing. It still comes back on that person who walked by my driveway."
One provision of Moore's deal with isanyoneup.com's new owners, CheaterVille Inc., is that the business is not responsible for anything previously posted on the domain or its affiliated servers. "We bought the URL," says CheaterVille's James McGibney. "I do not own the content—I have nothing to do with it." If there are legal issues with anything that did appear on Moore's site, McGibney confirms that his company is not responsible. "Part of the contract is he's 100 percent liable for it. It's clearly outlined in the agreement. I had lawyers watching lawyers on this deal."
Acknowledging that he and his lawyer had been fielding requests from the FBI throughout the site's existence—something Moore consistently discussed with me while the site was still active—Moore continued to defend himself: "We're going to work with every agency that we have pending investigations with. Really, [shutting down the site] comes down to never having to deal with this question, or anything like it, ever fucking again."
We were having the conversation on the day his site had been taken down. "No, I don't have hackers," he said. "I'm half-retarded. Where would I find hackers? It's not like I posted on a message board, 'Friendly hackers, hey, can you get me nude pictures?' It doesn't work like that."
Moore later demanded to know where I had heard that the FBI was looking into him, but I didn't tell him.
He didn't react well. "I will literally fucking buy a first-class fucking plane ticket right now, eat an amazing meal, buy a gun in New York, and fucking kill whoever said that. I'm that pissed over it. I'm actually mad right now."
Moore is apparently not used to his own privacy being violated.Were you hacked by "email@example.com"? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For what its worth, it appears Caldwell and Moore might actually know each other. There are videos of Moore, officially as the "isanyoneup" crew, attending caldwells show. Pretty fishy. They even both comment on the video.
Gary Jones IS Hunter Moore. I've known Hunter for years here in San Francisco, even before his shitty site. Let's put some pieces together shall we? A. Hunter is a social networking genius, he can get anything on chat from a place to stay to a party cracking, seriously. B. Hunter did hair at a shitty porn studio C. Hunter spent 8 months in Australia partying away settlement money D. Hunter is a self-proclaimed male model. Thats just so simple to see from "Gary Jone's" Facebook profile. I'm not the FBI tho just someone who's been aquatinted to Hunter for years.
BTW you should have never put me on your site homie, karma's a bitch, especially when you fuck with your "friends" dude I feel kinda bad for you!
There is a rumor that Moore was also persuaded to shut down the site because of new legislation being passed that will add an amendment to the Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is how he got away with a lot of this. Apparently if content is purely for the sake of a privacy violation and pornographic in nature, the webmaster must remove it - also - people who run similar "revenge porn" sites can face fines or jail time if they are a US citizen.
This poor guy Hunter Moore, almost insanely happy to ruin people's lives but acts like a little girl when his privacy is threatened.
what Tammy responded I'm surprised that a single mom able to earn $5508 in 1 month on the computer. have you read this web page (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/z0ZfG
For whatever anecdotal hearsay is worth I can tell you that of the three people I have personally talked to after they were posted on IAU, none of them were hacked. Seriously, people be sexting, and unless your some kinda celeb there is really no incentive to hack you. In fact, I'd argue that the 'revenge' part of "revenge porn" explains how many of the photos got out there: people have nude pictures of their exes, and all it takes is one moment of impulse for them to wind up on the internet.
just as Ralph answered I am amazed that any one able to profit $8936 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this
Wanna know something crazy? Hunter Moore/IAU threatens the FBI... Is Anybody Down just gets their nudes.
I thought that IsAnyoneUp was actually kind of funny, but if it relied on hacking peoples email addresses to get private pictures, that's not something that should have been condoned. I don't know what the truth is here for certain, however, I don't really buy the idea that its likely to find people storing random nude pictures of themselves within their email accounts. More than likely some people are embarrassed at their pics being online and made up stories about being hacked. But I can't know for certain. I think there's an interesting market for these kinds of people discussion sites like http://www.dirtyphonebook.com and others in that it allows you find out information about people by Googling them, and if you find out that somebody is abusive or an alcoholic or whatever thats good if you are considering dating them for example so you know about that. But private information shouldn't be leaked like that depending on what exactly it is. This Hunter Moore is a weird guy, but an interesting character nevertheless. He seems mentally unstable though.
Interesting, the man has a lot of hate to spew when he is outed, doesn't he. If you spend your time outing others stupidity, you should be prepared to pay the price when you are outed. Otherwise, you failed to learn the lessons of mutually assured destruction: it's better not to play the game if you can not suffer the consequences.
Hunter Moore is making terrorist threats by threatening to get a gun and murder the person who told about the FBI and saying he will burn down The Voice if they print the story. That alone is a serious offense. He sounds like a despicable excuse for a human being. He is a dangerous, creepy, loathsome criminal. He's buying stolen goods ("content") and exploiting people's privacy. I hope he rots in jail.
Good article, Camille. It looks like Hunter Moore is posting secretly here. Boy, he is outraged and a little crazy if you ask me.
This is fucking bullshit. Who the fuck keeps nudes in their email account. Hunter Moore may be an asshole but these whores are putting blame on him to cover up their own shame at being worthless, easy fucking sluts.
as Frances said I am dazzled that anyone able to get paid doller5846 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this page lazycash42.c()m
About the while IAU fiasco I don't like the point of what the site was about, but you really can't blame Hunter Moore, seriously of you want to blame someone then blame the dumbasses who take the pictures of themselves and send it to their bf/gf, do you honestly think regardless of the relationship status your at in the moment that your nudes are going to remain in his/here's posession for that long? Why do you think Sexting is such a big problem? Obviously not because of Hunter Moore, it's people who are dumb enough to take nudes of themselves. Overall it's more the people's fault than Hunter's, while Hunter had the ability to not post those pictures, the people had the ability to not take them send them to your current lover and think everything is trusted, without the people Hunter would be your adverage joe.
I'll tell you what is retarded. That is anyone who took the time to believe this was a real story, and to believe that anyone cared what was written.
You're retarded. You ask for all this information, and can not give him what he asked for? Anyone on this site still took the pictures. This is a terrible story.
Making a living out of causing pain for others is too strange for me. Knowing in advance that you will be inflicting anguish because you seek infamy and money are unworthy goals if you imagine yourself to be civilized
my buddy's mom earned $20073 past month. she is making an income on the laptop and got a $391200 condo. All she did was get lucky and put into work the information written on this website lazycash42.c()m
Ugh, this isn't hacking. This is all social manipulation.
Hacking requires technical know-how.
Social manipulation involves tricking somebody into doing something stupid, like giving a random stranger your Gmail reset code.
There should be an IQ test for using the internet.
Wah wah wah. Don't be a whore, taking naked photos of yourself and getting bummed when someone asshole, that you sent it to, posts it online. Moore hasn't done anything wrong. He just made it possible for us to make fun of your messed up tits and hatchet wound snatch because you're too stupid to send them to a scene kid. Your fault. Not his. Fuck anyone who says otherwise.
The author of these two stories, Ms. Dodero, should count herself partially responsible for Mr. Hunter's behavior and the mentality he represents. Her barely disguised attraction and adulation for this "bad boy" (read: sociopathic bottom-feeding child with manifest self-esteem and sexual inadequacy issues, not to mention a pathological fear of and hatred toward women) only adds fuel to fire. Does this sort of shallow expose of the lowest filth of humanity really warrant TWO cover stories in The Village Voice?
"It's the same thing as Scarlett Johansson getting hacked. It always comes back on the hacker. I'm not gonna lie. I've paid people for content. I don't give a fuck. You can say that. If I've paid for content, they have to submit the same [way] as the user. It would all fall back on the user."
No, it doesn't "all fall back on the user" when you know that you're buying the goods without the current owner of the image's consent. Motherfucker just incriminated himself. He KNOWINGLY bought stolen property. That there sir, is a crime. Lock the fucker up and throw away the key!
Edit; missed half the phrase and added on a bit.
n order to lose your acct you'd need one of the following to happen
1. you lose your phone and someone figures out who you are and decides to try to hack your acct. simple fix, use a screen lock or better yet don't lose your phone
2. you give the code to a suspicious person asking for it. simple fix, don't give it to anybody
@Its_Hunter Oh, come on. None of your A-D say anything about whether or not it's actually Hunter doing the "hacking".
It takes time to manipulate your way into peoples' accounts. Most likely, it wasn't Hunter.
@Shivathedestroyer424 aww! Sad that there are women who enjoy sex? Awww poor lil boy... and they aren't giving it to you, right?
keep callin em whores and sluts! Charms their socks off boychild
Way to ignore the main point, which is that these creeps were STEALING, as well as violating their victims' privacy rights.
Why shouldn't you be able to have nudes of yourself? How does that make you a whore, worthless or an easy slut?
Social engineering is far older than hacking, yes. But it's still a very useful tool in the hacking toolkit.
Yes, idiot, fuck the FBI that is probably going to put his ass in jail for a couple of years. The only thing fucked is Hunter Moore. Find a real hero moron.
And I'm sure if Ms. Dodero was Mr. Dodero, writing the same piece, you'd accuse him of a "barely disguised attraction" to Moore? Get a clue. Your argument could be a lot stronger if you avoided making sexist assertions...
How many times has Hitler's atrocities been written about? Are those authors partially responsible for his actions? C'mon, man. Try making a valid point next time.