The “fappening” that saw hundreds of celebrities’ private accounts hacked and their privacy obliterated dominated the Internet 18 months ago. The actress Jennifer Lawrence said that theft and exposure of her private photos amounted to a sex crime. Kaley Cuoco and Kate Upton were among the other famous names (and bodies) exposed by a hacker who recklessly shared nude photos and videos on the Internet — and act that was, of course, irreversible.
Now authorities say that Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man, was the hacker. Collins has agreed to plead guilty to felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In a plea agreement, which also includes a count of authorized access to a protected computer, Collins faces a maximum sentence of five years. Collins was apparently no hacking genius, just a determined perp. He posed as various authoritative sources (Apple, Google) and had the celebrities themselves turn over their passwords in a typical, not particularly sophisticated invasion tactic called phishing.