Celebrity hacker to plead guilty to stealing stars' nude images

2016-03-16 22:00

Los Angeles — A Pennsylvania man has agreed to plead guilty to hacking into the e-mail and online accounts of several female celebrities and stealing private information, including nude photos and videos, federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday.

Ryan Collins, 36, is accused of gaining access to more than 100 Google and Apple accounts, many belonging to famous women, between November 2012 and September 2014.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, man agreed to plead guilty to one count of gaining unauthorised access to a protected computer to obtain information, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Collins used a scheme called phishing in which he was able to get victims to provide information about their accounts in response to e-mails that appeared to come directly from Apple and Google, according to prosecutors. In some instances, he was able to obtain all the files his victims had stored online, including nude photos and videos.

No celebrities are identified in a plea agreement filed on Tuesday. There is no evidence Collins posted any of the pilfered images online, the US Attorney's Office stated.

Collins was charged as part of an investigation into the posting of nude photos of numerous celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, but he is not suspected of being involved in releasing those images, a news release stated.

Attorney information for Collins was not immediately available.

An investigation into who stole and posted images of Lawrence and dozens of other female stars is ongoing.

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