Celebrity iCloud hacker given 18-month sentence

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Celebrity iCloud hacker given 18-month sentence

First 'celebgate' jail term handed down.

One of the men tied to the 2014 hack of celebrity iCloud accounts has been handed an 18-month jail term by a Pennsylvania court.

Identified as Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old from Lancaster County, the man has now begun his term after pleading guilty to charges of computer fraud and abuse.

In May Collins admitted to illegally accessing 50 Apple iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts after he successfully convinced his targets to hand over their login details by phishing their emails.

He was caught as part of an investigation into the September 2014 leak of intimate photos stolen from the accounts of actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst.

“From November 2012 until the beginning of September 2014, Collins engaged in a sophisticated phishing scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims," the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

“He sent emails to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provide their usernames and passwords."

Collins also admitted to running what the court has described as a “modelling scam” where he tricked victims into sending him nude photographs.

Police, however, have not been able to specifically tie Collins to the subsequent distribution of the celebrity images.

He is the second suspect to date to plead guilty to targeting female celebrities’ personal digital accounts.

Earlier this year Edward Majerczyk also signed a plea agreement admitting his part in a similar hacking campaign, but he is not reported to have any links to Collins.

He also faces a maximum sentence of five years but prosecutors are reported to be pursuing a nine month jail term.

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