Bryan Hamade, a 27-year-old from Georgia, told BuzzFeed his scheme to make some easy bitcoins backfired and that now he’s being harassed by 4chan users.
As the online hunt for the persons responsible for yesterday’s massive celebrity nude photo leak continues, some Redditors and security researchers have pointed to Bryan Hamade, a 27-year-old from Lawrenceville, Georgia, as the culprit.
According to a post that’s circulating on the photo-sharing site Imgur, Hamade — who goes by the the username BluntMastermind — posted a screenshot of his computer to show off the leaked picture folder, accidentally exposing his hard drive and network drive. A few Redditors then went through Hamade’s previous Reddit posts and recognized the hard drive and PC name, outing Hamade as the one responsible for the original 4chan leaks.
But Hamade vehemently denied the claims in an interview with BuzzFeed this morning.
“I am not behind this. It was so stupid — I saw a lot of people posting the actual leaks and bitcoin addresses and I’ve read a lot about bitcoin and how they’re are valuable and I thought, oh cool I’ll get free bitcoins,” he told BuzzFeed.
“I am just an idiot who tried to pull one over on 4chan and lost big time and stupidly left this identifying information. They took my proof and back traced it — it isn’t remotely true. I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell someone could hack into all those accounts,” he said.
Hamade, speaking on the phone as he was driving around trying to find an open law office so he could hire a lawyer, told BuzzFeed he and his family have been harassed by 4chan users since his allegedly Photoshopped post went live.
“It’s been a nightmare and I haven’t slept in 34 hours, now. 4chan users are harassing me with non-stop phone calls and emails. They email me constantly, emailing saying they’ll hack my personal websites and keep calling my phone, calling me a fag and then hanging up. They also said they’ll hack my mom’s site, so I took it down,” he said.
Hamade also said the supposed 4chan users caused him to take down his LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. “They were posting comments on my YouTube channel and some were praising me as some guru for leaking photos — I don’t want praise for that, especially since I didn’t do it. I really had nothing to do with it.”
According to Hamade, who has been trying to find the alleged original leaker to clear his own name, it’s possible the leaker of the photo sets and those who actually breached the hacked iCloud accounts are entirely different people.
“The real guy is on 4chan posting intermittently. He’s most likely the one behind it, but it does seem the photos passed around to multiple people before being leaked, so it may just be someone who has them and didn’t hack to get them. They seem to have amassed a huge collection trading picture for picture and it’s possible that whoever they sold it to started leaking the pictures yesterday — at least that’s what it seems like,” Hamade said.
As for the original plan to profit off the leaked pictures, Hamade tells BuzzFeed it was a total failure.
“I regret it so much,” he said. “I didn’t even get any bitcoin out of it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will since it’s just the biggest news story.”