Hacker sentenced for ‘Celebgate’ iCloud phishing scam

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iCloud iPhone
iCloud hack took place back in 2014.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The fourth hacker responsible for leaking nude images from hundreds of iCloud accounts, belonging to Hollywood celebrities and others, has been sentenced to prison.

Connecticut-based George Garafano was sentenced to eight months, after which he must serve three years of supervised release, as well as performing 60 hours of community service. He plead guilty back in April.

Garafano helped to steal photos and information from around 240 people, several of whom are well-known celebrities, including the actress Jennifer Lawrence.

The incident came to light in 2014, although the thefts took place over a period of 18 months. Garafano’s fraud involved posing as a member of Apple’s security staff, and sending phishing messages asking for usernames and passwords. This information was then used to break into their accounts, before the images were published on websites like 4chan.

Prosecutors had argued for a sentence of 10 to 16 months. Other hackers involved in the case have been given sentences of between nine and 18 months in prison, making this the most lenient of the sentences. Jennifer Lawrence, who had photos leaked as part of the malicious hack, has described the incident as a sex crime. In a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair, she said that:

“The law needs to be changed, and we need to change … Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”

For more on how you can protect yourself online by strengthening the security of your Apple devices, check out our guide here.

Source: Guardian