Leaked photos of naked film beauty Scarlett Johansson have sparked an FBI probe into allegations high-profile Hollywood celebrities have fallen victim to tabloid-style phone hackings.
Scarlett's nude pic story breaks
How the story broke: Actress Scarlett Johansson is at the centre of an FBI probe after her phone was allegedly hacked and nude photos of her were stolen and published.
The Johansson photos, apparently taken by the actress, were published on US gossip websites today after they appeared on the internet. There were also reports of a hacked picture of Justin Timberlake, taken by actress Mila Kunis.
"The FBI is investigating the person or groups responsible for a series of computer intrusions involving high-profile figures," said Laura Eimiller of the FBI's office in Los Angeles.
She would not name any of the alleged victims "due to the pending nature of our investigation", but it was thought there had been a recent rise in alleged hacking of stars, initially reported earlier this year.
The pictures of Johansson, star of Lost In Translation, the Girl with a Pearl Earring and the forthcoming The Avengers, showed her in a state of undress in a home setting.
In one she was holding a towel around herself with face to the camera, her unclothed rear view clearly visible in a mirror, while in the other she was topless. In the first picture she was photographing herself with a smartphone camera, and appeared to be doing so in the second, on a bed.
A publicist for Johansson did not respond to a request for comment.
The TMZ website meanwhile reported that Kunis had been hacked, and that pictures of Timberlake - with whom she starred in Friends with Benefits - had been leaked.
Two of the pictures show Timberlake, one shirtless in bed, another with a pair of pink panties on his head; another shows Kunis in a bathtub, and a fourth is an explicit picture of an unidentified male, TMZ reported.
TMZ said the FBI had been involved in alleged nude celebrity photo hackings in the past year - involving actors Vanessa Hudgens, Jessica Alba and more.
The FBI spokeswoman declined to say how exactly the celebrity victims might have been hacked.
"What traditionally was called computer intrusion can nowadays mean anything from ... compromise of a desktop, a laptop, an iPad, a phone or really any device with which one can access personal information via the internet."