Hacker jailed for stealing nude celebrity images

Los Angeles, Oct 28 (IANS) A man from Pennsylvania was sentenced to 18 months in prison for hacking into celebrity email accounts and obtaining nude photographs of stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande and Kate Upton.

Ryan Collins, 36, pleaded guilty in March to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, reports variety.com.

Investigators said they have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks of the images or that he shared or uploaded the information he obtained.

Authorities said Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain user names and passwords. He then sent emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked users to provide user names or passwords.

Investigators said he would use a software programme to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups and he also ran a modelling scam in which he tricked some into sending him nude photographs.

US Attorney Bruce Brandler, in a press statement, said he accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, many of which belonged to female celebrities.

The FBI launched an investigation into the hacked photographs in September 2014 in what became to be known as “Celebgate”.

In July, a Chicago man plead guilty to charges of hacking into the accounts of 300 people, including 30 celebrities.