For allegedly hacking and spreading nude pictures from Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco, Kate Upton and Kirsten Durst, a suspect has been senetenced to 18 months in prison.
Image shows FBI office in Los Angeles.
The hacker who has been identified as Ryan Collins, stole and published nude images from celebrities. He will serve time in the U.S. federal prison, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
Collins used tags like “The Fappening” or “Celebgate” for his leaks from Hollywood stars since November 2012 – September 2014. The suspect pleaded guilty at a trial in March. He was charged on “one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information”.
The hacker was said to have accessed over 100 Apple and Google e-mail accounts belonging to celebrities.
Collins testified in court that he sends emails that seemed to be from Apple or Google, asking his victims to provide information. When the targets responded, Collins accessed their accounts and obtained personal information, including nude photographs and videos.
Reports confirm that Collins had access to over 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which are owned to Hollywood stars.
“Hackers violate federal law whenever they access private information stored online and in digital devices,” said Eileen M. Decker, United States Attorney for the Central District of California.
“Today people store important private information online and in their digital devices, which is why my office is deeply committed to holding hackers accountable, even when they do not sell or distribute the stolen data,” Decker added.
Collins reportedly used a malicious software program to download contents of his victims’ Apple iCloud backups.
He also used a fraudulent online modeling scam through which he was able to successfully trick women to send him nude pictures.
Image shows a U.S. federal prison.
The authorities held Collins responsible for the alleged leaks of celebrity nudes though reports quote investigators as saying they are yet to “uncover any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks, or evidence that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained”.
Collins could have received a higher jail term for the crime. And his attorney, Casey Shore of Perry Shore Weisenberger & Zemlock, told ABC News that his client “takes full responsibility for his actions and would like to apologize to the victims for his immature behavior and lack of judgment.”
“Although Mr. Collins did not forward, share, or seek financial gain from any of the images that came into his possession, he completely understands the pain that was suffered by the victims,” Shore added.
“The defendant intruded into the online accounts of hundreds of victims and in doing so, intruded upon their lives, causing lasting distress,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
“The prison sentence received by Mr. Collins is proof that hacking into the accounts of others and stealing private information or images is a crime with serious consequences.”