iCloud hacker behind ‘The Fappening’ faces up to five years in prison


The iCloud accounts of numerous Hollywood celebrities have been hacked, with naked images being sold for Bitcoins. (Picture: Killian Bell)
Man who hacked iCloud accounts of numerous Hollywood celebrities has been arrested.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Almost 19 months after the mass leaking of naked celeb photos known as “The Fappening,” a man has been arrested for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — and faces up to five years in prison as a result.

Ryan Collins of Pennsylvania is pleading guilty to hijacking more than 100 accounts using phishing emails disguised as official notifications from Apple and Google. Collins engaged in the phishing scheme between November 2012 and September 2014, when the photos were finally released.

He sent emails asking victims for their usernames and passwords — supposedly for official purposes — and then used this information to seize control of their emails.

He also utilized a “brute force” software program called iBrute to illegally download the contents of their iCloud backups, by guessing passwords repeatedly until it got them right.

There is no word on whether or not Collins is connected to two men from Chicago whose homes were searched by the FBI as part of the initial investigation in 2014.

The leaked photos included images of celebrities including Avril Lavigne, Hayden Panettiere, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rihanna. They appeared first on 4Chan, with an anonymous poster telling people at the time that they had obtained the images by hacking iCloud accounts. Photos were also allegedly sold for Bitcoins.

Via: Gawker

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  • imtough

    RIP Ryan “SpookyGhost” Collins 2014-2016

    His tombstone shall read, “Tits a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better breast that I go to than I have ever known.”

  • dave

    They should just make this guy do community service for the FBI and get him to do the san bernardino phone.

  • Hoodzy

    WTF? This guy is not a hacker! ROFL…… This guy just scammed these people for passwords pretending to be like Apple. It happens more often than you think and not just Apple. He’s a phisher and nothing more. If I ask for your password and you give it to me willingly, would you call me a hacker if I logged into your account and downloaded some pictures? I am literally just logging in, not breaking in. People need to learn the difference.

    • dave

      I felt the same way when this originally happened. Everyone was talking about how this guy “hacked iCloud” and Apple’s security was too lax. The guy didn’t hack anything, he used the service exactly how it was supposed to be used, by putting in the correct account info.
      As for the brute force, It’s like blowing a safe open with explosives instead of a stethoscope and finely tuned skills. It’s really not hacking.

    • Nicnacnic

      He got something secretively and on the interwebs and computers and stuff. According to your average FBI technician this is all hackery.