Collins used a series of phishing schemes to gain access to peoples’ accounts. Once he gained entry to the iCloud libraries, he published personal (and often scandalous) photos of several female stars on a site called “The Fappening.” Male and female stars alike were outraged at the intrusion.
Posting pics hacked from someone’s cell phone is really no different than selling stolen merchandise.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 31, 2014
I obviously am not comparing women to merchandise. Just legally speaking, it shouldn’t be tolerated to repost stolen pics. — Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 31, 2014
Earlier this week, Collins was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The hacker has now plead guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. He faces up to a five-year prison sentence, but prosecutors are recommending an 18-month sentence.
Though the images found their way all over the internet, Collins has not been charged for distributing the photos. The focus has instead revolved around Collins accessing private accounts without permission. According to investigators, no evidence has actually been discovered that Collins shared or even uploaded the images he stole.
Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most famous victims of the hack, was absolutely outraged over the invasion of privacy. The actress argued that this event was the symptom of a bigger problem.
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it,” Lawrence said. “It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Other celebrities whose accounts were compromised include Ariana Grande, Kate Upton, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens. All of these women can now celebrate knowing their virtual attacker has come to justice.