Lancaster man gets 18 months in celebrity-hacking case

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A central Pennsylvania man will spend 18 months in a federal prison for stealing nude photos from women celebrities.

Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, was sentenced Wednesday on felony computer hacking charges. He pleaded guilty in May.

The case against Collins stemmed from the so-called “Celebgate” investigation into leaks of celebrity photographs in September 2014.

U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler said investigators have not found any evidence that links Collins to the actual leaks or that he shared or uploaded the photos he obtained.

Collins admitted he used a “phishing” scheme to send emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google. When recipients submitted their usernames and passwords, Collins accessed their accounts and downloaded nude photographs, videos, and personal information.

Brandler said Collins accessed at least 50 Apple iCloud accounts and 72 Google Gmail accounts, many belonging to female celebrities.

In addition, Collins ran a modeling scam in which he tricked his victims into sending him nude photographs, Brandler said.

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