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The fact that the nude photos of Lindsay Lohan posing for Playboy  showed up online on Friday isn't surprising, but the insane level of determination that led an anonymous file-sharer to comb the web to find, download and post the files certainly is. The much blogged about cover story that reportedly earned Lohan a million bucks looks a lot like any other Playboy cover story: lots of awkward poses, weird drape-y background, naked woman staring blankly into the camera lens. There's a predictable presence of Marilyn Monroe references. Besides the fact that the naked woman in the spread is Lindsay Lohan, Hollywood's best bad publicity magnet, it's not very extraordinary. But has the scoop how how the images made their way to (by now) a gazillion web sites:

Playboy's full Lohan article, including 10 nude photos and an interview, was available for purchase through a file-storage service via the website, a digital magazine clearinghouse based out of the Ukraine. …  The person responsible for getting the images on the website tells that he downloaded over two hundred individual files, each containing one page of the issue, and reassembled them page by page to build a final, complete digital copy of the issue.

"I just pieced it together," the individual, who asked to have his identity withheld, told through a translator.

The man said he found the files after doing a search on peer-to-peer file sharing sites, but does not know the source of the leaked pages, which could have been stolen somewhere in the digital publishing process or hacked from a server.

"All I cared about is how I got them," he said.

It's unclear where the hacker's from. The details, along with's mention of a translator, imply that he's not in the United States, and the fact that the images were found on a Ukranian site and then uploaded to a Russian site suggest that he might be from somewhere in the former Eastern Bloc. Peering Lohan fans probably don't care either, as long as its free to look. But Playboy certainly does. After all, they didn't pay Lohan a six-figure sum in order to give the world a free peep show. Nevertheless, that's exactly what's happened.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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