Hacker Receives Nine Months for Celebgate
Edward Majerczyk has been sentenced to 9 months in prison for the “Celebgate” hackings, according to CBS News. Majercyzk will serve time and has been ordered to make reparations of $5,700 to one of the people whose online accounts he broke into.
Majercyzk confessed to hacking accounts in Apple iCloud and Gmail using a phishing scam, using deceptive email messages to direct victims to a fake security site. The site would then record a victim’s ID and password.
Majercyzk said that he did specifically try to hack celebrities’ accounts. At least 300 people’s accounts were compromised, and 30 or more of those belonged to celebrities. Majercyzk used the unauthorized access to obtain personal photographs from the victims’ accounts, including nude photographs.
Among those were nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence that were leaked onto the world wide web. Authorities could not prove that Majercyzk was the one to distribute the photographs that ended up in the public internet, but, as the U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras observed, the victims’ private information and documents were still exposed in ways the owners never intended.
Some victims said that the photographs were supposed to be for their significant others only. One victim received more than $11,000 worth of counseling following the incident. However, only two of the victims pursued compensation for expenses caused by the photo leaks.
Jennifer Lawrence might be the best-known victim in the affair, but among the victimized were Justin Verlander and Kate Upton. Lawrence told Vanity Fair that Majerczyk’s actions constituted a sex crime.
Majercyzk admitted to committing the hackings in a raid on his home by federal agents back in 2014. The FBI confiscated computers and drives from Majercyzk’s residence. Later, in March 2016, the FBI interviewed Majercyzk to learn more about the hacking.
Majerczyk stated his intentions to cooperate with the authorities, as well as issued an apology to his family before he was sentenced.