Hacker Sentenced to Nine Months for Stealing Celebrity Nude Photos
One of three men convicted of hacking the electronic accounts of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, which led to a massive leak of private information and nude photographs, was sentenced to nine months in prison, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Chicago resident Edward Majerczyk pleaded guilty in federal court last year to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. Along with prison time, he was ordered to pay $ 5,700 in restitution to cover half the bill for counseling services obtained by a victim whose photographs were spread online.
Majerczyk carried out a phishing scheme that allowed him to access 300 Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts. Per Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Laud, Majerczyk targeted “people he came across in his life,” along with at least 30 celebrities, such as Lawrence, Upton and soccer star Hope Solo. Majerczyk, however, was not accused of posting or selling any of the images online, and a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles has said that the investigation is still ongoing.
The hack that Majerczyk carried out precipitated a wider leak that came to be known as “Celebgate.” Over 100 celebrities were targeted and their photos and information spread quickly on sites like Reddit and 4chan. Along with Majerczyk, two other men have been convicted separately of conducting similar phishing scams that led to Celebgate: Ryan Collins, who pleaded guilty and was was sentenced to 18 months in prison last October, and Andrew Helton, who was sentenced to six months and fined $ 3,000.
Several Celebgate victims spoke out against the attack after it occurred, including Lawrence who told Vanity Fair in 2014, “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”
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