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  • Man pleads guilty in celebrity iCloud hacking case, admits to phishing scheme

    A Pennsylvania man on Tuesday was charged in the hacking of iCloud and Google cloud storage accounts belonging to more than 100 individuals — notably dozens of celebrities — and stealing personal, sometimes compromising pictures and video.




    The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California said Ryan Collins, 36, conducted a wide-ranging phishing scheme between Nov. 2012 and Sept. 2014 to illegally procure usernames and passwords to at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, reports NBC News. Photos and video gleaned from the operation were subsequently leaked online.

    "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 David Bowdich, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office. "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,"

    Court filings show Collins sent out emails resembling legitimate correspondence from Apple and Google, duping victims into divulging account information that was later used to steal personal photos and in some cases full iCloud backups. The story gained public notoriety after a cache of nude photos stolen from celebrities like actress Jennifer Lawrence hit the Web in September 2014.

    Collins pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 18 months, the report said. Charged in California, his case will be transferred to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    Collins is the first to be charged for the 2014 hack, but more could follow as the investigation turns to the nefarious agents behind the photo leak.

    [via NBC News]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Man pleads guilty in celebrity iCloud hacking case, admits to phishing scheme started by Caiden Spencer View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      It's 2016 and phishing scams has been around long enough that if anyone still falls for this, they should be held responsible as well.
      Unless Collins was trying to brute force accounts on the Apple and Google servers, I don't see how this is any different then other people trying to get me to visit a site, reset my bank password, download a zip file, or have me send $2000 to a Nigerian Prince. And yet, I still get those emails daily.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by RyoSaeba View Post
      It's 2016 and phishing scams has been around long enough that if anyone still falls for this, they should be held responsible as well.
      Unless Collins was trying to brute force accounts on the Apple and Google servers, I don't see how this is any different then other people trying to get me to visit a site, reset my bank password, download a zip file, or have me send $2000 to a Nigerian Prince. And yet, I still get those emails daily.
      They route through offshore servers to obfuscate their identity.
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiderManAPV View Post
      They route through offshore servers to obfuscate their identity.
      It doesn't matter what servers the phishing emails came from, one should know NOT to click on links in emails unless you don't care. An email came in saying my Bank of America account has problems? I will use my own bookmark go to the site, even on real emails from them.

      Seriously, who still falls for emails like: Your _______ account may have been compromised. Please reset your password. Click here. Ok well, apparently, those celebs did... smh
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by RyoSaeba View Post
      It doesn't matter what servers the phishing emails came from, one should know NOT to click on links in emails unless you don't care. An email came in saying my Bank of America account has problems? I will use my own bookmark go to the site, even on real emails from them.

      Seriously, who still falls for emails like: Your _______ account may have been compromised. Please reset your password. Click here. Ok well, apparently, those celebs did... smh
      I slightly misunderstood your original post and thought you were asking why people who sent Nigerian prince emails weren’t being held responsible.
    1. iamevl's Avatar
      iamevl -
      A big glaring problem i always saw was the whole security question thing. If you are famous and all your life is on the internet its not gonna be too hard to find out your mothers maiden name etc etc.. if the celebs are not smart enough to use 2 step logins, then its partly their own fault.