Thursday 29 September 2016

Hacker faces prison term over breach of celebrity iCloud accounts

Mark O'Beirne

Published 16/03/2016 | 09:55

iCloud
iCloud

A man responsible for phishing information regarding celebrity iCloud and Gmail accounts faces a stint in prison as he's expected to plead guilty.

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Ryan Collins (36), of Pennsylvania, will plead guilty to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after breaching a number of iCloud and Gmail accounts belonging to celebrities. He could face up to five years in prison.

However, it is likely that he’ll serve less. It’s reported that “parties have agreed to recommend a prison term of 18 months,” according to Gawker, but the sentencing judge isn’t bound to this.

The Department of Justice maintains that Collins gained access to more than 100 accounts. He did so by sending phishing mails to celebrities that posed as official security dispatches from Apple and Google. Once he had their account details, he downloaded complete backups of their devices.

The result of this breach of security saw nude photos of celebrities leaked onto internet forums. However, there is no evidence linking Collins to the leaks themselves or indicating that he uploaded or shared the information that he obtained.

The investigation surrounding who actually leaked the content is still ongoing.

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