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One of two CelebGate hackers goes down, but uploader remains at large The 36 year-old hacker behind some of a massive public leak of private celebrity photos has been sentenced to 18 months prison. 36 year-old Ryan Collins, of Pennsylvania, was one of two suspects in the September 2014 leaks known online as the Fappening or CelebGate. Celebrities impacted include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna, and Avril Lavigne. He was arrested in March and charged with hacking 50 iCloud and 72 Gmail accounts owned by Hollywood stars. A second man, Edward Majerczyk, 28, of Illinois, was collared in July and charged with hacking 300 iCloud and Gmail accounts of which 30 belonged to Silver Screeners. Together they hacked some 600 victims. Both have pled guilty to the charges involving sophisticated phishing attacks that saw the pair send mails purporting to come from Apple and Google.

Those efforts, which took place between November 2012 and September 2014, harvested account logins for entertainers and other prominent persons. Collins received a lighter penalty than the five years prison initially on the table for the guilty plea. The uploader or 'leaker' of the stolen images has not been found. ®
Wikimedia Commons user Tabercilreader comments 10 Share this story A 36-year-old Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to hacking the Apple and Google accounts of more than 100 celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Aubrey Plaza, Rihanna, and Avril Lavigne.

Collins stole personal information, including nude photos, from the celebrities. The photos were famously posted on 4chan and reddit in 2014.

Collins pleaded guilty to hacking the celebrities’ accounts in May, but he did not plead guilty to posting the images on the Internet. “Investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks or that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) noted. According to The Guardian, Collins ran a phishing scheme from November 2012 to September 2014, sending celebrities e-mails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, requesting their user names and passwords. In a press statement, the DOJ wrote that Collins would illegally access respondents’ accounts and search for nude photos and videos. “In some instances, Collins would use a software program to download the entire contents of the victims' Apple iCloud backups,” the DOJ wrote. “In addition, Collins ran a modeling scam in which he tricked his victims into sending him nude photographs.” Collins apparently accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts and stole information from more than 600 victims, not all of whom were celebrities. From the beginning, Apple maintained that the hacks weren’t the result of an iCloud vulnerability, but the fruit of a “very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.” In the aftermath of the hack, some celebrities threatened Google with a $100 million lawsuit for failing to "act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the Images."
Actress Lily Collins may be gorgeous, talented, and have a famous rocker for a dad, but searching for her online can apparently lead your computer down a not-so-pretty path. September 18, 2013 12:32 PM PDT (Credit: McAfee) Celebrities can be rea...