A Connecticut man flew too close to the iCloud and is now facing up to five years in prison.
John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced on Thursday that North Branford resident George Garofano, 26, has pleaded guilty to a computer hacking offense related to a phishing scheme that gave him access to hundreds of Apple iCloud accounts, several of which belonged to celebrities.
According to Durham, Garofano’s guilty plea was a result of an investigation that was kicked off by the FBI in Los Angeles into the leaks of female celebrities in September 2014. Charges were filed in Connecticut against Garofano on Jan. 11 this year.
From April 2013 through October 2014, Garofano was involved in a phishing name intended to obtain the usernames and passwords for iCloud accounts. Garofano admitted that he sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from security accounts of Apple and encouraged the victims to send him their usernames and passwords, or to enter them on a third-party website, where he would later retrieve them.
Once receiving the passwords, Garofano accessed the accounts to steal personal information, including private photographs and videos. In total, Garofano accessed approximately 240 accounts, including many celebrities and non-celebrities who live in Connecticut.
Garofano pleaded guilty this week to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison. Garofano remains released on $50,000 bond. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
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