Ryan Collins, who hacked into Apple’s iCloud service in 2014 to release the private photos of numerous female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. The ruling came from U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell on Wednesday after the 36-year-old Lawrence, PA, resident entered a guilty plea on one count of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.
Investigators found that Collins had access to “at least 50 Apple iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts,” the majority of which “belonged to female celebrities,” according to prosecutors. In a statement released Thursday, Pennsylvania U.S. attorney Bruce Brandler said that “Collins engaged in a sophisticated phishing scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims. He sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provide their usernames and passwords. When the victims responded, Collins then had access to the victims’ e-mail accounts.”
There were over 600 victims in the so-called “Fappening,” including Lawrence, whose representatives called the hack “a flagrant violation of privacy.” Collins — about whom the FBI failed to uncover evidence linking him to “the actual release of private information or photos,” or prove that he “shared or uploaded the information he obtained,” according to the Guardian — faced up to five years in prison.
(Via the Guardian)