Hacker pleads guilty to stealing nude pictures of celebrities
The man charged with hacking celebrities’ nude pictures has pleaded guilty.
Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old father from Pennsylvania, admitted to stealing the pictures two years ago.
He used a phishing scam to get celebrities’ passwords and access their iCloud and Gmail accounts.
There’s no evidence he posted the pictures on the internet, but prosecutors want him to go to prison for 18 months.
The picture hack in September 2014 targeted about 50 Apple Accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco and Kirsten Dunst were some of the celebrities targeted.
At the time, Jennifer Lawrence called the hack a “sex crime”.
The FBI found evidence of Ryan Collins’ involvement when they analysed ‘phishing’ emails the celebrities had received.
The emails appeared to be from legitimate companies like Apple and Google, and asked the celebrities to supply their passwords.
They were a scam, and Collins used the information they supplied to access their personal images.
The images were then posted on internet forums like 4chan and Reddit.
Reddit later banned any threads containing the pictures.
Other celebrities, including American gymnast McKayla Maroney, were underage at the time of the hack.
Reddit stated that any users posting her pictures would be banned for distributing child pornography.
The evidence links Collins to the phishing hack, but not to the public posting of images.
The case is being transferred to a federal court near his home in Pennsylvania where he’ll be sentenced later.