In light of the celebrity photo hackings, the dark corners of the Internet are getting some attention. One of those sites is 4chan.
If you're not familiar with it, doing a quick Google search of "4chan" will bring you to many articles about trolling, its infamous "/b/" message board, and, namely, links to its pages. The 4chan website has been mentioned countless times this week due to its role as being one of the places where the nudes of Jennifer Lawrence, Allison Brie, and other female celebrities were leaked. That's the thing: 4chan is a place where pictures were leaked. Not a person. CNN's tech analyst, Brett Larson, went on Brooke Baldwin's show to discuss the hacking, and throughout the segment, he referred to 4chan as a "he" when asked if it was a person or a website. Larson thought "4chan" was actually a hacker's alias. This, of course, isn't the case.
“I’m sure we’re going to get some more confirmation as the hours and minutes go on, but he may have been a system administrator who knew his way around and how to hack things,” Larson said. “This seems like it was not a real, big effort, but more of a ‘I have these usernames, I know this security loophole — I’m just gonna run this password app and see if I can get into these people’s cloud-based accounts."
Now, a group of people who use 4chan may have done the hacking—but if they would've released the photos on, say, Facebook, we wouldn't be saying Facebook did the hacking. While Larson is right that your password shouldn't be "password" or a word that's in the dictionary, simply throwing in a dollar sign won't do the trick. If you want to keep your information safe, there are many other ways to give yourself a fighting chance against hackers.