BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — One of the people responsible for hacking the private online photo collections of Hollywood’s elites, including files picturing nudity or sex, has pleaded guilty to his role in the crime.
Federal prosecutors say 26-year-old George Garofano, of North Branford, pleaded guilty Wednesday to unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.
The crime involved gaining access to the iCloud accounts of Hollywood stars and others so he could steal personal information, including private photographs and videos.
Prosecutors say Garofano sent emails that appeared to be from Apple encouraging victims to disclose usernames and passwords. He then used the information to illegally access nearly 250 iCloud accounts.
Back in 2014, Jennifer Lawrence told Vanity Fair magazine the hack was “not a scandal. It is a sex crime.”
“It’s disgusting,” she said. “The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”
Of those who looked at the photos, she said, “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame.”
Garofano, who remains free on $50,000 bond, faces up to five years in prison at sentencing at a date to be determined.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)