Guilty plea in Celebgate nude photos hacker investigation
Edward Majerczyk from Chicago, USA, has pleaded guilty to a felony charge in relation to the Celebgate investigation triggered in 2014 by the leaking of nude photos of celebrities.
It follows the guilty plea of 36-year-old Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania, USA in March 2016 as part of the Celebgate investigation. Collins admitted his role in gaining access and downloading photos from 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts. He faces a prison term of between 18 months and five years.
The ongoing investigation is examining the hacking of more than 300 email and iCloud accounts which resulted in the dissemination of sensitive data belonging to Hollywood celebrities and others.
Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna were among celebrities who allegedly lost control of personal data including photos as a result of the hacks.
It was alleged that 28-year-old Majerczyk tricked his victims into visiting bogus websites which asked for their login details by sending phishing emails posing as security messages.
According to a statement by the US Department of Justice, he has agreed to plead guilty to one felony charge of accessing a protected computer to obtain information. He faces a maximum of five years in federal prison.
“Hacking of online accounts to steal personal information is not merely an intrusion of an individual's privacy but is a serious violation of federal law,” said United States attorney Eileen Decker.