Hackers that cracked celebrity iCloud passwords face up to 5 years in jail

Hackers that cracked celebrity iCloud passwords face up to 5 years in jail
A couple of years ago, there was a huge scandal involving Apple's cloud platform, where it was hacked by a then unknown hacker or group of hackers. A large portion of the victims were well-known US celebrities and the result was a lot of their nude photos getting leaked on the Internet.

This year, a couple of hackers have been caught and charged with accessing the iCloud accounts. First, a Ryan Collins was accused of gaining access to 72 Gmail and 50 iCloud accounts back in March, and now an Edward Majerczyk has been brought to court, accused of accessing 300 Gmail and iCloud accounts, collectively, 30 of which belonged to "members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles". Collins faced up to 5 years in jail, but was sentenced to 18 months. Now, Majerczyk awaits his sentence, which could also run up to 5 years.

The hackers are charged with "unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information", but not with actually leaking the celebrities' private data. This is because no proof can be found of them actually posting the nude photos on the websites that they were initially leaked. Both ran phishing scams a couple of years leading up to the iCloud leak event, which is allegedly how they obtained the victims' passwords.

Do you think 5 years is enough of a sentence for such misdemeanor? Or maybe too much?

source: DoJ (1, 2) via iMore (1, 2)



1. AlikMalix unregistered

Dude read about this. He admits to phishing techniques to gain passwords to mail logins including gmail. It just happens that nearly all celebrities (except lol' wain) have iPhones. If that's hacking - call me a hacker!!! Because I can mass email everyone and I bet I get responses from both platforms equally, just not that much famous people using androids. The writing is on the wall.

3. paul.k

Posts: 294; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Technically, the ability to spoof an email to look as if it came from an official source (iCloud or Gmail) falls under the definition of "hacking"

20. Unordinary unregistered

But not "cracking" as this author and tons of idiots on this website think happened. iCloud was never breached, their accounts were.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

I don't disagree. I'm just pointing out that the iCloud or gmail servers were not cracked, the passwords were not exposed by apples or googles lack of security, the hackers did not gain access to our passwords and cannot gain access to my info just because they decided to - they have to still go thru ME - not behind my back - at some point I would have to give up the login info.

7. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

A lot of hackers use social engineering to get access to systems. They attack the weakest link in the security chain which usually means a human

2. f_u_006

Posts: 120; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

Just celebrities?

4. LeSerpentVincent

Posts: 66; Member since: May 30, 2016

Apple hater like this deserves to be jailed for trying to destroy Apple reputation

17. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Why don't you impresse Tim Cook with your own nude photos? I believe he will give you the most secure way to save your nude pics.

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Apple hurt their own reputation when it was reveled that they had known about their system's vulnerability for 6 months prior to the hack, and they hadn't taken action. So should Apple be jailed for hurting their own reputation?

5. FluffyBled unregistered

My opinion would be it's too much. They clearly couldn't have done it without these people's help!

6. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Too much dude!!! Too much!! Btw is there any link to see these pictures!! ;)

16. FluffyBled unregistered

Just search google for "The Fappening"!

8. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

5 years for uploading some pictures? WTF

9. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Well there's a lot more to it I'd imagine - it's theft of personal property by deception, putting personal, private and sensitive images into the public domain can be seen as a form of sexual harassment or even abuse really. Having nude photos of yourself available to anyone who wishes to view them online forever is quite a huge invasion of privacy and he could be sued for everything by all of them without too much problem I'd imagine.

10. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

If you upload it to the internet it's not so personal anymore. And it is their own fault for giving away passwords so easily. They need to learn about security more. Before entering password to a form from shady email at least check the url. It's their own fault for falling for such obvious scam. But celebrities are not known for being smart.

12. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

While that's true, if I break into your house because you only have standard locks rather than bank-vault security, steal and sell all your belongings then get caught - should I go free because you didn't protect yourself better?

14. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Excellent comparison. Without stiff penalties, there's no disincentive for scumbags to steal personal stuff like this.

24. AlikMalix unregistered

Excellent post !! Jimrod.

11. judithblog

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 05, 2016

5 years in jail for cracking a password?

13. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

So that's all they did? Right? Or did they take a load of private photos and post them online for the world to see? Cracking a password wouldn't have resulted in jail time, it's what was done after they cracked the password that cost them.

15. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

According to the article, the convictions were just for accessing the private info. They couldn't prove they posted anything.

25. AlikMalix unregistered

They didn't crack the password - they tricked users to giving them up. Reading comprehension is a virtue.

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They did a great thing and shouldn't go to jail lol, jks I might love what they did but it was still against the law and they must pay for their crimes, 18 months actually seems lax so they should count themselves lucky.

19. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Those celebrities always proudly flashing their nude bodies on the movie screen. Why such a big deal?

22. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Because they are not paid!! Done and dusted! Black day today though.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.