Ryan Collins hack: Collins Pleads Guilty
According to media reports Wednesday, a Pennsylvania man has agreed to plead guilty to hacking nude photos of numerous celebrities and will likely spend 18 months in prison as a result.
As reported by CNN. the Ryan Collins hack involved at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts to unearth nude photos.
The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles did not identify the victims of Collins’ hacking. But celebrities who confirmed they were victims of hacking revealed in September 2014 included actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Authorities have since said the hacking was done by numerous individuals.
“These are a series of unconnected guys conducting relatively unsophisticated hacking,” a law enforcement official told CNN last spring.
The federal authorities in Los Angeles who brought the charges against Collins said he accomplished the hack through “phishing” emails sent to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provider their usernames and passwords. When the victims responded, Collins then had access to the their email accounts.
“By illegally accessing intimate details of his victims’ personal lives, Mr. Collins violated their privacy and left many to contend with lasting emotional distress, embarrassment and feelings of insecurity,” said David Bowdich, head of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
“We continue to see both celebrities and victims from all walks of life suffer the consequences of this crime and strongly encourage users of Internet-connected devices to strengthen passwords and to be skeptical when replying to emails asking for personal information,” he said.
The plea agreement calls for an 18-month sentence but the judge who hears the plea will get to decide the sentence.
In 2012, a Florida man received a 10-year sentence for stealing nude photos, scripts, and other personal information from the email accounts of 50 entertainment industry figures including Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis and singer Christina Aguilera.