The 4chan message board is abuzz with unverified claims that Hunter Biden’s iCloud account was hacked and compromised, supposedly making available various files from an iPhone and an iPad belonging to the son of U.S. President Joe Biden.
At this stage, we advise readers to take individual rumors and memes that appear to be blooming out of this alleged hack with a grain of salt. This is not to say that this material should automatically be presumed to be false (or true). Rather, it’s simply the case that the 4chan message board has a long history of delivering up questionable content, none of this material has yet been verified as authentic, and partisans on both sides of the political divide are likely to try to recast it to their advantage. (For example, earlier today we debunked a doctored photograph unrelated to the 4chan leak that was apparently being circulated as a “counter-meme” to discredit that leak.)
According to The Daily Dot, which reported on the alleged “data dump,” the specific thread on 4chan, which contained quite a bit of adult content, claimed to have uncovered somewhere around 450 GB of various “voice mails, videos, voice recordings, [and] pictures,” some of which featured both Hunter and the president.
The 4chan thread was first posted around July 8 on the /pol/ board on the website, a board named “Politically Incorrect.” The title of the 4chan thread was, “Hunter Biden offline iPhone Backup.” The post and its comments included various unverified allegations, some of which were lurid. The thread also contained other names and various unconfirmed conspiracy theories about several different figures.
In the past, there have been no shortage of rumors surrounding Hunter’s personal activities, included alleged drug use and videos with sexual activity. We previously reported on various rumors regarding a laptop apparently owned by Hunter, which became a larger story ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Separate from the iCloud, iPhone, iPad, and laptop rumors, NBC News reported days before the 2020 election about a “fake ‘intelligence’ document” about Hunter that was “disseminated by close associates of U.S. President Donald Trump.” The 64-page composition appeared to be “the work of a fake ‘intelligence firm’ called Typhoon Investigations, according to researchers and public documents,” NBC News published.
The story about Hunter’s iPhone and iPad allegedly being hacked via his iCloud account is still developing. We will continue to monitor the situation for future reporting.
Collins, Ben, and Brandy Zadrozny. “How a Fake Persona Laid the Groundwork for a Hunter Biden Conspiracy Deluge.” NBC News, 29 Oct. 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/how-fake-persona-laid-groundwork-hunter-biden-conspiracy-deluge-n1245387.
Covucci, David. “4chan Explodes after User Allegedly Cracks Hunter Biden’s iCloud.” The Daily Dot, 11 July 2022, https://www.dailydot.com/debug/hunter-biden-icloud/.