Man behind celebrity nude photos leaked from iCloud pleads guilty to phishing scheme
The man responsible for leaking explicit photos of dozens of celebrities back in 2014 has been formally charged today. According to a post on the Department of Justice website, a man from Pennsylvania has been charged with felony computer hacking after obtaining access to Gmail and iCloud accounts of more than 100 different people, the majority of whom were celebrities.
The hacker, 36-year-old Ryan Collins, has signed a plea agreement and agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Colin was charged in Los Angeles, but the case will be transferred to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Collins is expected prison sentence of 18 months, although it could be as long as five years.
In addition to revealing sentencing details, however, the filing also reveals more details as to how Collins was able to obtain access to the accounts of the affected celebrities. According to the filing, Collins engaged in a phishing scheme between November 2012 and September 2014. Collins would apparently send emails to celebrities that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked for login details. Once Collins had those details, he was able to access email accounts and iCloud accounts. From there, Collins obtained information such as nude images and videos, as well as phone numbers. In the case of Apple accounts, Collins would download the entire contents of the victim’s iCloud backup, as well.