Remember ‘The Fappening‘ from 2014? When an alleged hacker leaked hundreds of photos of nude celebrities like Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez and other? On Tuesday the US Department of Justice announced that the man behind this cyber crime has agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident Ryan Collins, 36, will face a will face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison but authorities will recommend just 18 months which likely be rejected by the judge.
According to the DoJ, Collins began his journey of phishing for celebrities email accounts on November 2012 and ended on September 2014 – obtaining accessed to at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities. Collins accomplished this by sending genuine-looking emails to the targeted celebrities pretending to be Google or Apple and asking them their user name and password. After accessing to the victims’ account with the given user name and password, Collins downloaded personal media files such as videos and photos of the celebrities, as he affirms in his plea agreement.
Although Collins will be charged for this crime, investigators responsible for this case have not yet found any evidence linking Collins that points Collins as the uploader who leaked the photos and videos on the internet.