Well, that can certainly be a problem with paywalls — ever since the early days of the internet, they’ve always just been too easy to climb over.
In case you hadn’t heard, there was a massive leak of explicit photos and videos of Bella Thorne and hundreds of other stars of the popular adult platform OnlyFans this week.
Internet security company Backchannel revealed the magnitude of the leak, in a disclosure online, saying:
“In our effort to notify all users and spread awareness of the activity, BackChannel is notifying impacted users, the cloud services provider, and other concerned parties threatened by this security incident.”
It’s possible not everyone has been notified yet, so if you’re an OnlyFans content creator, look out! According to BackChannel, a single Google Drive folder link was “shared on a low-tier hacker forum by a threat actor known for collecting and exchanging sexually explicit material” last month.
That folder contained over 10GB of videos and pics — that’s huge! There were also individual folders inside listing 279 separate performers whose content was included. Yowza!
Here’s where it gets inneresting. OnlyFans is trying to hit back at the bad press by denying to content creators they were hacked! In an official statement to DailyMail.com, they assured:
“OnlyFans has not been hacked. Any reports of a security breach are false. There is a group of people purchasing, compiling and then illegally hosting content.”
Yep. What seems to have happened is that folks who actually paid to see pics and vids of Bella and whomever else simply shared the files, and one actor compiled them all and purposely released them into the wild.
BackChannel founder Aaron DeVera told BleepingComputer:
“It is not uncommon for subscribers of OnlyFans creators to share files. OnlyFans has somewhat weak content controls around their content, and there are plenty of bots and scrapers a legitimate subscriber can use. What makes this unique is that so many users were bundled in one folder.”
You may also have heard Bhad Bhabie — who joined the site last week, just after her 18th birthday, and reportedly made over a million dollars in her first six hours — also had a video leak.
Surprisingly, that leak is NOT even connected to the other one!
The teen rapper, whose real name is Danielle Bregoli, just had the exact thing happen to her that DeVera is describing: someone paid for the content and then put it online. The vast majority of what was in this huge leak, says DeVera, was uploaded to OnlyFans from October 2020.
Doesn’t sound like the site is very safe, does it? They may not have been hacked, but it’s kind of clear they don’t need to be. What is the massive platform doing to protect its creators? In their statement they say:
“We have sent [the website hosting the folder link] a cease and desist letter and filed a WIPO Complaint against the registrant. The registrant has not responded to the Complaint and we are pursuing further legal action.”
OnlyFans added that “content protection is a top priority and OnlyFans has a dedicated anti-piracy team that provides legal DMCA support to issue takedowns on behalf of the creators.”
“It is a violation of our Terms of Service to copy, duplicate or record user content, and DMCA law protects creator content being published without proper permissions. This procedure is inclusive of all required notices to move any infringement up to litigation if target websites refuse to comply.”
And finally they bragged:
“OnlyFans also notifies the offending domain registrars and hosting services as well as reporting to all major search engines. With a duty to help battle against illegal piracy, OnlyFans is firmly in the fight to protect user content. Takedown success rates have been over 75% across offending image hosting sites, torrent providers, and cyber lockers.”
75%?! That is NOT very reassuring at all, tbh. If 1% gets out on the internet, it’s just out there. Are we wrong?? Still, it doesn’t seem like it’s hurting Bhabie or Bella’s bank accounts. But what about the other adult performers who need every bit of income they’re getting from the site?
[Image via Bella Thorne/Bhad Bhabie /Instagram.]