Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Fappening Hacker Arrested, Pleads Guilty To Stealing Nude Celebrity Photos

Ryan Collins, one of the people behind The Fappening, which leaked nude video and photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst, was arrested and charged on Tuesday with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and has already pleaded guilty. Collins, a 36-year-old from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was busted for hacking into the Gmail and iCloud accounts of more than 100 people, many of whom were female celebrities. He faces up to five years in prison for his guilty plea to a count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.

Collins, who was not charged with leaking or uploading the nude videos and photos of the stars online, obtained usernames and passwords between November 2012 and September 2014 by phishing (sending phony emails) purportedly from Apple and Google to get people to reveal their private information. Once he had that, Collins hacked into their emails to steal personal information, including nude photos and videos.

There’s no evidence that Collins was responsible for leaking or posting the naked images or videos. In exchange for his plea bargain, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is recommending a sentence of 18 months. The FBI’s David Bowdich said, “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.” He added, “We continue to see both celebrities and victims from all walks of life suffer the consequences of this crime,” before urging people to use stronger passwords and “be skeptical when replying to emails asking for personal information.

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