Federal investigators arrested a Pennsylvania man who they say is responsible for illegally accessing more than 100 Apple iCloud and Google Gmail accounts to get personal information — including nude photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence.
Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, has agreed to plead guilty to a single felony computer hacking charge and could face 18 months in prison in connection, according to documents filed today in federal district court in Los Angeles.
Investigators say Collins used a phishing attack to get the login credentials of his victims. He sent emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked the victims to provide their usernames and passwords. When they responded, he gained access to their personal email and iCloud accounts.
“Today, people store important private information in their online accounts and in their digital services,” U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said in a statement. “Lawless unauthorized access to such private information is a criminal offense. My office remains committed to protecting sensitive and personal information from the malicious actions of sophisticated hackers and cyber criminals.”
The charge against Collins stems from an investigation into leaks of celebrity photos including Kate Upton, Victoria Justice and Lawrence in September 2014 that some dubbed “Celebgate.” Investigators believe he accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts over the course of two years.
However, there is no evidence linking Collins to the leaks.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.