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Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to 2014 celebrity nude leaks, faces 18 months in prison

By midian182 ยท 43 replies
Mar 16, 2016
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  1. The Pennsylvania man behind a 2014 hacking incident that saw hundreds of explicit photos and videos of celebrities leaked online has agreed to plead guilty to a felony computer hacking charge, according to a document filed by the Department of Justice.

    36-year old Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, broke into over 50 iCloud and 72 Gmail accounts, many belonging to famous female celebrities, between November 2012 and September 2014. After gaining access, Collins searched for and stole any explicit photos and videos, sometimes downloading a victim’s entire iCloud backups.

    At the end of this period of almost two years, the stolen images were leaked on anonymous image board Anon-IB before finding their way onto sites such as 4Chan and Reddit. The incident became known as ‘Celebgate’ or ‘The Fappening.’

    At the time, many people claimed the hack was a result of either brute-force iCloud password attacks or a vulnerability in the system, something Apple denied. It now seems that the Cupertino company was being truthful; Collins used email phishing scams where he posed as Apple or Google employees to trick account holders into revealing their usernames and passwords.

    The celebrities who had their nude images posted included Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Scarlet Johansson, Gabrielle Union, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Duff, Jenny McCarthy, Kate Upton, Hope Solo, Victoria Justice and many others.

    While Collins has pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, no evidence has been found that he was the one who shared or uploaded the stolen images and videos.

    “By illegally accessing intimate details of his victims’ personal lives, Mr. Collins violated their privacy and left many to contend with lasting emotional distress, embarrassment and feelings of insecurity,” said the FBI’s David Bowdich.

    “We continue to see both celebrities and victims from all walks of life suffer the consequences of this crime and strongly encourage users of Internet-connected devices to strengthen passwords and to be skeptical when replying to emails asking for personal information.”

    Collins could serve up to five years incarceration for his crime, but authorities are recommending 18 months. He may spend even more time behind bars, as “that recommendation will not be binding on the sentencing judge.”

    Image credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,794   +1,533

    I applaud the fact that they are finally putting some teeth behind the law, but I honestly think that if they want to create a REAL deterrent, they are going to have to make the penalties much harsher, to the level equal or greater than the harm that is created. If they did this to hackers as well as financial and legal people that take advantage of their clients, it could do a tremendous amount of good for everyone.
    LiveResistance likes this.
  3. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 281   +97

    So a guy gets busted for hacking accounts if iCrap and Gtard. Nothing is safe the moment you put it on your iDevice. Maybe the dumb *** celebrities should stop taking pornos of themselves or sex tapes and putting on the web for all to hack into. I think it is a two way street. People posting nudes or compromising images on the internet should maybe stop and think about it first. They also fell for a phishing scam here, which goes to show people really are still ignorant, and not using their brain. But I am glad to see the law do something useful for once at least and arrest the **** who had nothing better to do apparently.
  4. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 414   +172

    My exact thoughts... If you get an email asking you for your username and password you, should probably contact Support immediately and not respond with the requested information.

    I got a call the other day from someone posing as my bank and they asked me to verify my address and name. I responded with "If you're my bank you should be able to see whats on your records" to which he said "I'm sorry sir we're having computer issues at this time and I'm unable to see those details... The I dropped the bomb "Well how'd you get my number then?" Then he hung up :)
    LiveResistance likes this.
  5. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    So this guy has already been charged (rightfully so, even if the celebrities are stupid), yet Hillary still runs around free and the FBI does nothing. What a joke.
    stewi0001 and davislane1 like this.
  6. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 414   +172

    Amen to that brother!

    It's hard for me to say, but when she makes it to the general election I have a feeling she'll get served for the private email server.
  7. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,493   +3,490

    Make Prosecution Great Again.
    Panda218 likes this.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,794   +1,533

    Yeah, I think that is the ONLY reason I would vote for trump ... just to see him go after her worthlessness ....
    EClyde likes this.
  9. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,907   +592

    Sadly, busting people for weed is more important to police departments. Quotas are quotas!
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,044   +317

    I enjoyed the pictures and movies. I feel sorry for the people that were duped. Must be tough knowing a picture of your jism will be around forever.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    I don't know where you're from, but in my neighborhood they usually ignore weed, along with crack and heroine.:eek: Unless you're stupid enough to torch up a joint and blow the smoke in their faces. Ditto for your crack pipe...:oops:
    EClyde likes this.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Perhaps so. But, to the upside it will be young and "pretty" forever.

    I wanna say, "don't close yer legs darlin', I want to remember you just the way you are". But the staff will probably pull that.
    Burty117 likes this.
  13. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    He took one for the team. God speed!
  14. amghwk

    amghwk TS Addict Posts: 149   +54

    Why are these babes posting their naked (and what not) pictures online in the first place?

    Sharing with closed friends? They can get more kick out of it if they share with all.
  15. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    The man stands to lose 18 months of his life at the very least, potentially a maximum of 5 years... it's quite enough already! It's not justice they're after... it's revenge! So have him stripped naked for a photo-shoot and "leak" his nudes on the internet. Let the whole world inspect his little wiener, and be done with it.

    Yes, he broke the law, but the harm done to his "victims" - and I use the term lightly - was largely self-inflicted. I mean, come on! Anyone stupid enough to upload their nudes to a Cloud server deserves to be hacked. And celebrities, no less! If anyone should know better... right? Well, they do now!
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Believe it or not, the US Constitution, not to mention the ACLU's legal team would call that, "cruel and unusual punishment".

    I'm not saying they're right, of course, jus' a givin' you a heads up! <(Pun intended).
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  17. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Yes, I presumed such a thing would be frowned upon, but at least the punishment would fit the crime. :p

    It's easy for people to say "18 months" is nothing, but there's a lot more to it. You are bereft of your freedom, put in a cage and fed like an animal. Having to deal with actual criminals day in, and day out, for a year and a half! That's a long time to put your life on hold, and when you're finally released, you've got a criminal record and can't get a job, right? And, I dunno, maybe you get out early, having to deal with a parole officer, working a crap job for a boss that exploits you, living in a crack-house... all the fun stuff from the movies. And all that for what exactly? Hacking some nudes. I say again: Hacking some nudes. I do think a slap on the wrist is in order. Maybe a stiff kick to the balls. Perhaps some therapy. A fine. Not major league prison. :D
  18. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,794   +1,533

    He is just one example of a systemic problem. The concept of that being "cruel & unusual" is incorrect, in fact if you want to learn the roots behind it, please take the time to research what scholars refer to the 63 numbered "clauses" of Magna Carta, this is a modern system of numbering, introduced by Sir William Blackstone in 1759; the original charter formed a single, long unbroken text. The four original 1215 charters were displayed together at the British Library for one day, 3 February 2015, to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,493   +3,490

    Parking your car in a high crime area with the keys in the ignition is also fairly dim. That doesn't mean you deserve to have it stolen.

    18 months in prison is harsh, though. One month and a thousand hours community service would be more adequate. Embarassment and "emotional distress" isn't reason to take away more than a year of a man's life.

    He should really see a vendor about those get out of jail free cards a certain segment of the North Amercian population uses. Those things are so good, Platinum members can skirt murder charges.
    WangDangDoodle likes this.
  20. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Addict Posts: 128   +119

    That he did. Legend.

    As far as I'm concerned those *****s got what was coming to them.
    18 months hard jail time for leaking some pics online. Ridiculous.
    Real crimes with real victims get less than that.
  21. Monte Gardiner

    Monte Gardiner TS Rookie

    Not even, trump would run america into the ground, at least Hilary would be better in international affairs and wouldn't tease and fight like a little kid. I really hope that Cruz or Kasich can pull ahead of trump in the republican nominees.
  22. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,493   +3,490

    She's done such a stellar job so far.
    Panda218 likes this.
  23. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,907   +592

    US jails are full of em. Thought everyone knew this...
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    You can quote statistics all you like. I see this first hand. The jails aren't big enough to hold all that need to be there. And the "war on drugs", was lost years ago.
  25. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 414   +172

    The three top running republican nominees at this time are downright terrifying... I think that Kasich is just as evil as Trump, but he's just better at hiding it. I mean have you seen how he speaks to women or the dozen of laws he's introduced in regards to abortions in Ohio? Not to mention he's also gutted their educational budget. When it comes to Cruz its easy for me to be biased due to all his religious views and being a senator of the terrifying state know as Texas. I say that being born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota, the south scares the piss out me.

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