The creepy dude who hacked the iCloud and gmail accounts of Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kate Upton and other female celebrities, which resulted in the online dissemination of nude photos (#TheFappening, as Redditers memorably called it), has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
The perpetrator was not some pimply-faced teenage hacker but rather 36-year-old dad Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, Collins previously pleaded guilty to felony hacking over the course of two years. Prosecutors broke down his modus operandi:
According to factual basis in the plea agreement, from November 2012 until the beginning of September 2014, Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims. He sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provider their usernames and passwords.
When the victims responded, Collins then had access to the victims’ e-mail accounts. After illegally accessing the email accounts, Collins obtained personal information including nude photographs and videos, according to his plea agreement. In some instances, Collins would use a software program to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups. [...]
Many of Collins’ victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. By illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Collins accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities.
But as his indictment makes known, "investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks or that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained." But that doesn't absolve him of his crime.
"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," David Bowdich from FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said.
18 months is a heavy sentence. Luckily for Collins, he will have plenty of time to "fap" in the slammer.