Many readers will remember the media coverage of a widespread hacking incident that led to the release of hundreds of images of nude celebrities. Authorities have made an arrest in that case, and a Pennsylvania man is now facing federal charges in connection to the matter. It is reported that the man will enter a guilty plea in the case.
Authorities assert that the 36-year-old man hacked into the Gmail and Apple iCloud accounts of more than 120 individuals. Many of those were female celebrities, and it is believed that Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco and Kirsten Dunst were among those whose private information was stolen. Photos and video of numerous female celebrities were released online, and the scandal became known as "Celebgate" in 2014.
The plea agreement on file states that the man used phishing strategies to convince many of the victims to provide him with their user names and passwords. From that point on, he was able to access their private online storage accounts, and downloaded the content in question. Investigation into the matter continues, and it is likely that additional individuals will be charged in the matter.
The man is expected to receive more lenient sentencing than he would have endured had he taken the federal charges to trial. His sentence is reported to be 18 months in federal prison, while the maximum sentence could be up to five years behind bars. In making the determination to enter a guilty plea, the Pennsylvania man and his legal team worked through the various possible outcomes and made a decision that was appropriate given the risk of spending additional time in prison.
Source: The Washington Times, "Pennsylvania man charged with hack related to ???Celebgate??? nude photo leak", Andrea Noble, March 16, 2016