Remember way back in 2014 when celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst had their iCloud’s hacked and their private photos stolen and posted all over the internet? Well, one of the hackers who did all that is finally getting some jail time (8 months in a cell and 36 more of supervised release).
Details behind the celeb hacker and his crimes
26-year-old George Garofano plead guilty back in April of this year, but was only just sentenced last week—almost 4 years to the day—for his crimes. Garofano, along with three other perpetrators (Ryan Collins, Edward Majerczyk, and Emilio Herrera), used a phishing scheme to obtain the passwords of hundreds of people—many of whom are known the world over.
Over 500 photos (mostly nude) were stolen from various celebrities (mostly women). All four of the perpetrators were charged for those crimes. The distribution of them began on August 31st of that year. Only Garofano is accused of that offense—although prosecutors allege he also traded user names, passwords, texts, calendar events, and more.
Garofano started by posting the stolen pictures on the popular image site, 4chan. The photos then made their way, via public sharing, to Reddit, Tumblr, and Imgur.
Online media outlets dubbed the sharing: “The Fappening” (which is a play on words crossing the film titled “The Happening” with the slang term for male masturbation). Two more batches of images were shared on September 20 and 26th.
Celebrities affected by “The Fappening” include:
- Kaley Cuoco
- McKayla Maroney
- Victoria Justice
- Kate Upton
- Jessica Brown Findlay
- Emily Ratajkowski
- Justin Verlander
- Ariana Grande
- Yvonne Strahovski
- And more
Dozens of celebrities spoke out against the invasion of privacy that befell many of their peers. And legal actions were eventually taken. Now, two years later, the last of the perpetrators is finally getting what he deserves.
While the phishing scheme was carried out against celebrities, regular people like you and I should know that it could happen to us as well. Technology is wonderful, but there is so much room for misuse and abuse. That’s why it’s wise for everyone to take precautions to make sure no one is using some spyware for cell phones or hacking scheme to steal valuable information from you. Information that you assume is safe and sound on your device of choice and in the cloud that it’s shared on.