The Business Times

Hacking of celebrities' nude photos far less complex than thought

E-mail phishing scheme used to fool account users into divulging usernames and passwords

Published Thu, Mar 17, 2016 · 09:50 PM
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THE man expected to plead guilty to stealing private, nude photographs of celebrities used an e-mail phishing scheme to access more than a hundred personal accounts. After a ton of speculation about how one of the biggest celebrity hacks in recent memory happened, it appears that the answer is relatively simple.

Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man, was charged with a computer hacking felony on Tuesday for his part in the theft of hundreds of nude photos of female celebrities in 2014, which were then posted online in an event known as "Celebgate". Based on what is known from the plea agreement and prosecutors, it appears that one major part of Celebgate is much less elaborate than what some users of bulletin board 4chan claimed at the time: that many of the photos were stolen through a clever exploitation of a previously unknown iCloud security flaw - a claim that Apple had denied.

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