Back in 2014, numerous actresses fell victim to a massive iCloud hack that resulted in their nude pictures being spread online in what was referred to as “The Fappening.” As comical as that nickname is, it was no laughing matter for the victims who had their privacy invaded. On Tuesday (March 15), the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement saying that the perpetrator, 36-year-old Ryan Collins of Lancaster, PA will plead guilty to felony computer hacking.
The crime gave Collins access to over 100 Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts, some of which belonged to Jennifer Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Kate Upton, among others. The photos soon went viral on web forums such as Reddit. Collins is not being charged with leaking the photos since investigators were not able to recover any evidence linking him to the uploads online.
Apparently, Collins gained access to the accounts from one of two methods. He either sent emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google reps or guessed their passwords. Ryan Collins will face up to five years in prison, along with $250,000 in fines. He will also face restitution owed to the victims.
David Bowdich, Assistant Director of FBI’s L.A. Field Office:
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.