New Zealand’s main internet provider, Spark, suffered a major nationwide failure this weekend after a handful of users found themselves installing malware on their computers when they clicked on links promising nude photos of celebrities.
On Aug. 31, a massive hack led to a leak of tons of nude photos of major celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, and Kim Kardashian were all victims of the breach after their private images were taken out of their iCloud storage systems and posted to online communities within Reddit and 4chan.
New Zealand residents looking to see the photos for themselves ended up turning Spark on its head, causing 600,000 users to be down and out of an internet connection for over 24 hours.
The New Zealand Herald reports “Spark said it was aware that when people clicked on some celebrity nude snaps, they have inadvertently installed the kind of software that created distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks such as this weekend’s,” but said it wasn’t entirely clear that the frenzy for nude images was what caused the unusual failure.
But security experts TrendMicro tells Stuff.Co.NZ that they traced the malignant links back to Twitter, where a user tweeted a link with “hashtags that contain the name of one of the leak’s victims – Jennifer Lawrence.”
Spark spokesman Conor Roberts said the internet was back to normal a day later, warning users to “not click on ‘dodgy’ emails and files if they did not know what was in them or where they came from.”