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Celebgate Hacker Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
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Summary: Phisher, Ryan Collins, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in Celebgate. 

One of the hackers behind the 2014 scandal Celebgate has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

  
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Ryan Collins, 36 of Pennsylvania, took a plea deal earlier this year. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell sentenced him to a year and a half in prison for his involvement in the decimation of numerous celebrity nude photographs online. If he had not taken the deal, he could have faced a sentence of five years.

Collins used his computer skills to create a phishing scheme that would email celebrities and trick them into giving him their logins and passwords. He then used that data to access their email and cloud accounts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Collins had approximately 600 victims.

“In some cases, Collins would use a software program to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups. In addition, Collins ran a modeling scam in which he tricked his victims into sending him nude photographs,” Pennsylvania US attorney Bruce Brandler said.

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In 2014, stolen celebrity intimate photos were released online on such sites as Reddit, and the overall act was deemed “CelebGate.” Authorities have identified Collins as well as hackers in Chicago and Oregon as the main sources of the photographs of actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Gabriel Union, and Kate Upton.

The scandal had initially resulted in backlash against cloud servers such as Apple, but it was later determined that there was no breach in their system. The celebrities and victims had been duped into giving that information away.



Authorities said that although they were able to trace Collins as a phisher, they have yet to determine who actually uploaded the photographs online. So far, the three hackers have all pled guilty, and authorities said that their actions were not coordinated.

Source: The Guardian

Photo courtesy of EW



 

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