Edward Majerczyk — a hacker who used phishing scams to gain access to celebrities' iCloud accounts — has pleaded guilty, and will face up to five years in federal prison. Majerczyk was able to access over 300 Gmail and iCloud accounts, with at least 30 accounts belonging to celebrities.
This defendant not only hacked into e-mail accounts — he hacked into his victims' private lives, causing embarrassment and lasting harm. As most of us use devices containing private information, cases like this remind us to protect our data. Members of society whose information is in demand can be even more vulnerable, and directly targeted.
Majerczyk is the second person to plead guilty to hacking into celebrities' accounts, after Ryan Collins also confessed earlier this year. While both are charged with gaining "unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information," the court did not find any evidence tying them to the distribution of explicit content:
However, investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Majerczyk to the actual leaks. Many of Majerczyk's victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. By illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Majerczyk accessed at least 300 accounts, and at least 30 accounts belonging to celebrities.