Ryan Collins, the man behind hacking into Hollywood celebrities’ iCloud accounts and stealing their nudes has been finally put behind bars. He has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. The infamous nude photo leak, coined as the Celebgate, or The Fappening, shook the world in 2015. Celebrities like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Mary Elizabeth Winstead fell prey to the heinous act. The FBI launched an investigation into the hacked photographs in September 2014 and Ryan Collins was arrested in March.
To be noted that Ryan, 36, has only been sentenced for hacking into accounts and obtaining nude photographs of stars and not leaking them. Ryan pleaded guilty in March to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, reports variety.com. But investigators could not link the hacking and stealing to the actual LEAK of the nude images. Neither they could link Ryan to any upload of the same images. The case began in Los Angeles before being transferred to Pennsylvania. Collins could have gotten five years and a $250 fine but received a shorter sentence after pleading guilty, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Authorities have revealed that Ryan used a method as simple as phishing to obtain security passwords of the celebrities. He sent mails pretending to be from Apple asking for email addresses and passwords. Investigators said he would then use a software programme to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups. Another shocking revelation was made by authorities that Ryan also ran a modelling scam in which he tricked some into sending him nude photographs.
US Attorney Bruce Brandler, in a press statement, said he accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, many of which belonged to female celebrities.
In July, another suspect, Edward Majerczyk, 28-years-old of Illinois, had pleaded guilty and charged with hacking 300 Gmail and iCloud accounts. However, authorities have yet to identify the uploader or ‘leaker’ of the photographs stolen by Collins and Majerczyk.