A Pennsylvania man has owned up to hacking more than 100 Apple and Google accounts in a phishing scheme that saw the private images of many celebrities – and others – stolen.
Ryan Collins allegedly, between November 2012 and September 2014, posed as Google and Apple support email accounts to dupe targets into offering up their log in details to their clouds, according to NBC news.
Once he gained access, Collins leaked the personal photos of more than 100 celebrities, with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and more affected by the circulation of the images that were widely distributed on Bitorrent sites, 4Chan, Reddit and more.
At the time, the security of Apple’s iCloud service came under close scrutiny but authorities have now revealed that the images were systematically seized as part of wider password theft scheme.
The FBI was tasked with investigating the leaks and after years of investigations, looks to finally have found an individual to charge with the hacks.
David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said in a statement: "By illegally accessing intimate details of his victims’ personal lives, Mr. Collins violated their privacy and left many to contend with lasting emotional distress, embarrassment and feelings of insecurity."