INTIMATE photographs of an Australian Olympian having sex with his wife were stolen by staff at a Sydney computer shop after the prominent star brought his machine in for repair.
Shockingly, the practice is not illegal.
Information technology experts say the law offers no protection from the unauthorised copying of photos and data from any computer.
The Sunday Telegraph has seen the stolen images, which clearly depict the household-name star and his wife in numerous sexual poses.
Other celebrities are believed also to have been targeted in the scam, which involved employees at an inner-Sydney computer store targeting potential victims who brought their computers in for repair.
With the encouragement of the store’s owner, staff scanned machines for intimate material and uploaded photos and videos to a shared drive, according to evidence provided by a source.
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The store’s owner demanded to know how the allegations were uncovered, and denied that sexual images had been targeted.
“If people choose to put photos and personal information on their computers, that’s their decision,” the businessman said.
According to Section 308H of the Crimes Act 1900, it is not an offence to “access data which is not protected or restricted by an access control system” or password.
IT experts said many popular security systems provided no protection from theft by repairers or technicians.
Senior security analyst Joel Hatton of AusCERT – an emergency computer response team that provides computer incident prevention, response and mitigation strategies – warned that a technician who was given access to a computer could do anything without seeking permission.
He advised computer owners to sit with any technician working on a machine.
“Don’t give them more access than necessary and, if you do have separate user accounts, you can protect some of them with passwords,” Mr Hatton said.