Musicians Rihanna and Ariana Grande among those who have been targeted

Both Apple and the FBI have confirmed that they are investigating an allegation that naked images were stolen from dozens of female celebrities and published online.

As reported yesterday (September 1), musicians including Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff and Selena Gomez are among the women targeted, while Ariana Grande (pictured above) released a statement denying the authenticity of images reported to have been of her.

It is believed that some of the images, which were originally posted anonymously on the 4chan message board, were obtained through Apple’s iCloud service. BBC News reports that Apple is now investigating whether this is the case or not. “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” Apple spokesman Nat Kerris said.

Additionally, an FBI spokesman told the Associated Press that it was “aware of the allegations” and is “addressing the matter”.

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is one of the celebrities targeted and released her own statement yesterday condemning naked photos of her leaked online as a “flagrant violation of privacy” and confirming that anyone who posts the pictures will face prosecution.