A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty on Tuesday, May 24, to illegally hacking into the Apple and Google accounts of several female celebrities and stealing their private photos, videos and information.
Ryan Collins, 36, was accused of gaining access to more than 100 online accounts between November 2012 and September 2014. According to the Associated Press, he pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to “gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.”
Many of the accounts that Collins hacked into belonged to famous women, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Gabrielle Union. Several of the photos investigated were leaked onto the Internet, but prosecutors said that Collins was “not suspected of being involved in releasing those images,” according to the AP. The photos first started appearing online in September 2014, and the incident later became known as “celebgate.”
Federal prosecutors said that Collins, who is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, used a phishing scheme to obtain his victims’ usernames and passwords. He sent emails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, asking the users to provide their log-in information.
The celebrities whose photos were leaked were not identified as a result of a plea agreement in March.
Collins is expected to appear for sentencing in a federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to the Los Angeles Times. A date has yet to be set.
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