“A federal judge painted a portrait of a world that ‘inspires secrecy and anonymity and intrusion into the affairs of people’s private lives’ as he handed a South Side man a nine-month prison sentence Tuesday for his role in a Hollywood hacking scandal that exposed nude photographs of dozens of A-list celebrities,” Marissa Bailey reports for CBS Chicago.

“Edward J. Majerczyk, 29, admitted last fall that he hacked into the Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts of more than 300 people, including at least 30 celebrities,” Bailey reports. “In addition to his prison sentence, the judge ordered him to pay $5,700 to an unnamed victim of the hack who had spent $11,400 on counseling.”

“Prosecutors promised to recommend the nine-month sentence when they struck a plea deal with Majerczyk last year. Among the victims of the September 2014 hack — dubbed ‘Celebgate’ — were Jennifer Lawrence, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton and Justin Verlander,” Bailey reports. “Last year, Majerczyk told Kocoras that he used a trick he ‘had learned from another individual’ to access and download sensitive photographs.”

“The feds say Majerczyk used a ‘phishing’ scheme, sending his victims emails from addresses like ‘appleprivacysecurity@icloud.com.’ The emails appeared to be from the victims’ internet service providers’ security accounts and would direct the victims to a website that collected their usernames and passwords,” Bailey reports. “Majerczyk admitted to the judge last September that he targeted celebrities.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, too many people use one password for multiple services (and weak passwords at that). Once hackers guess that password, they then have access to all sorts of things: cloud storage, bank accounts, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

Regardless of the origination of these photos and videos, social engineering hacks can be thwarted, at least for iCloud. Use two-step verification for Apple ID to keep your personal information as secure as possible. More info here.

Always use unique passwords and use Apple’s Keychain Access and iCloud Keychain to create and manage them. When used properly, it works like a dream.

SEE ALSO:
36-year-old man to plead guilty to iCloud ‘Fappening’ celebrity nude photo theft – March 15, 2016
‘Fappening’ celebrity nude leak suspect alleged to have hacked 572 iCloud accounts – June 10, 2015
iCloud accounts at risk after hacker releases tool allowing access to any login – January 2, 2015
Jennifer Lawrence calls nude photo hacking a ‘sex crime’ – October 7, 2014
Apple’s iCloud security nightmare gets worse as more nude celebrity pics leak – September 21, 2014
Since the celebrity nude iCloud hacks, one third of Americans have improved their online security – September 8, 2014
Apple denies iCloud breach – September 3, 2014
How easy is it to crack into an Apple iCloud account? We tried to find out – September 3, 2014
Celeb nudes: Comprehensive review of forum posts reveals no mention of ‘Find My iPhone’ brute force technique – September 2, 2014
Apple’s iCloud is secure; weak passwords and gullible users are not – September 2, 2014
Apple: No iCloud breach in celebrity nude photos leak – September 2, 2014
FBI, Apple investigating alleged iCloud hack of celebrity nude, sex photos and videos – September 2, 2014
Celebrity or not, Apple isn’t responsible for your nude photos – September 2, 2014
Apple ‘actively investigating’ Jennifer Lawrence, other nude celebrity photos hack – September 1, 2014