The hacker who broke into more than 200 iCloud accounts, including those of a host of Hollywood stars and then leaked personal photos has been jailed for eight months.
26-year-old George Garofano was one of four people charged over the 2014 hacking scandal, which targeted the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst.
Garofano, who conducted the hacking spree while he was still at college, will follow his prison term with three years of supervised release and 60 hours of community service.
In a court memo, the prosecution said: “Mr Garofano’s offense was a serious one. He illegally hacked into his victims’ online accounts, invaded their privacy, and stole their personal information, including private and intimate photos. He did not engage in this conduct on just one occasion. He engaged in this conduct 240 times over the course of 18 months.
“Not only did Mr Garofano keep for himself the photographs he stole, he disseminated them to other individuals. He may have also sold them to others to earn ‘extra income’.”
“In committing this offence, Mr Garofano acted in complete and utter disregard for the impact on his victims’ lives.”
Garofano admitted to posing as a member of Apple staff and contacting users with authentic-looking messages to obtain login and password details.
At the time of the hacking, Lawrence said that the incident was the equivalent of a ‘sex crime’, and called for a change in the law.
She told Vanity Fair: “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offence. You should cower with shame. Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’
“I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.
“That’s why these websites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me.
“I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Three other hackers involved are yet to be sentenced.