Hacker sentenced to prison for role in Jennifer Lawrence nude photo theft via Apple iCloud hack

“A hacker was sentenced to eight months in prison on Wednesday for a scheme that exposed intimate photos of the actor Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities,” Erin Durkin reports for The Guardian. “George Garofano, 26, was accused of illegally hacking the private Apple iCloud accounts of 240 people, including Hollywood stars as well as average internet users, allowing their nude photos and private information to be spread around the internet.”

“He was one of four people charged in the 2014 hacking scandal, in which private photos of Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and others were published online,” Durkin reports. “A federal judge at a US district court in Bridgeport, Connecticut, ordered Garofano to serve the prison term followed by three years of supervised release.”

“He had pleaded guilty in April, admitting that he sent emails to the victims while posing as a member of Apple’s online security personnel in order to obtain their usernames and passwords,” Durkin reports. “The three other hackers have already been sentenced, to terms between nine months and 18 months in prison.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Scammers often try to trick you into sharing personal or financial information by sending you messages or links to websites that might look like they’re from Apple, but their actual purpose is to steal your account information. Some phishing emails will ask you to click on a link to update your account information. Others might look like a receipt for a purchase in the App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store or for Apple Music.

Never enter your account information on websites linked from these messages, and never download or open attachments included within them.

As an aside, Apple makes sharing photos and videos very easy; too easy in some cases, depending on the contents of the photographs and videos.

As we wrote back in August 2017: We’re hoping Apple will just allow us to truly hide and password-protect photos and videos right in the Photos app, or even in the camera app (via, for example, a lock/unlock icon in the Camera app where “locked” signifies that you’re currently shooting a password-protected photo/video that will not be shared via My Photo Stream and that will be locked in iCloud Photo Library).

How to keep your personal intimate photos off Apple’s iCloud – June 19, 2018
New Nude app is a photo vault that uses AI to hide your sensitive photos – October 17, 2017
How to make sure you remove photos from iCloud Photo Library – October 10, 2017
How to hide photos and videos on your iPhone in a locked and private album – August 24, 2017
Second ‘Fappening’ hacker who targeted celebrity Apple accounts sentenced to 9 months in prison – January 26, 2017
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


    1. Seriously? Do you not know that spammers generate emails address lists from a library of names plus the host site ID?
      They don’t have to know someone’s address per se just have to have someone respond.
      Apple email accounts get spammed all the time but most gets filtered out before we see it.

    1. MDN. Pleas delete the above post by moumasi. He’s linking to illegal content.

      Either that or he’s being ironic and demonstrating people will click on anything. If so he’s proved his point 😄.

  1. This is *not* hacking! The use of that term in the headline and article makes it appear that people penetrated Apple security to access iCloud accounts. That is misleading and unfair to Apple.

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