A Connecticut man is heading to prison after flying too close to the iCloud.
North Branford resident George Garofano, 26, has been sentenced to eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to a computer hacking offense related to a phishing scheme that gave him access to hundreds of Apple iCloud accounts, several of which belonged to celebrities.
Garofano’s guilty plea was a result of an investigation that was kicked off by the FBI in Los Angeles into the leaks of female celebrities in September 2014. Charges were filed in Connecticut against Garofano on Jan. 11 this year.
From April 2013 through October 2014, Garofano was involved in a phishing name intended to obtain the usernames and passwords for iCloud accounts. Garofano admitted that he sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from security accounts of Apple and encouraged the victims to send him their usernames and passwords, or to enter them on a third-party website, where he would later retrieve them.
Once receiving the passwords, Garofano accessed the accounts to steal personal information, including private photographs and videos. In total, Garofano accessed approximately 240 accounts, including many celebrities and non-celebrities who live in Connecticut.
In April, Garofano pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. Garofano remains released on $50,000 bond. He has been ordered to report to prison on Oct. 10. He must also perform 60 hours of community service.
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