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Federal authorities in Los Angeles accused a Connecticut man of being one of the hackers behind “Celebgate,” an infamous 2014 cybercrime that involved breaking into the private accounts of A-list celebrities and splashing their nude photos across the internet.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles alleged that George Garofano, a 26-year-old resident of the Northford section of North Branford, who describes himself in a LinkedIn account as a bank customer service associate, looted more than 250 Apple iCloud accounts of sensitive pictures and videos. Together with three other hackers — two from Chicago and one from Pennsylvania — Garofano broke into as many as 750 private storage accounts, and in some cases publishing their most intimate contents online, authorities say.
Garofano agreed Thursday to plead guilty to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In a plea agreement filed Thursday, he detailed the phishing scheme that netted him the compromising pictures. From an email that masqueraded as an Apple security account, Garofano tricked his victims into either sending him their usernames and passwords or entering them on a third-party site, the plea agreement alleges, granting him access to their iCloud accounts and the private material stored on them.
Garofano is the fourth hacker to be charged in the 2014 Celebgate breach, which dumped naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst, along with scores of other celebrities, on websites 4chan, Anon-IB and Reddit. In 2016, Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pa., pleaded guilty to cybercrimes and received an 18-month sentence. A Chicago man, Edward Majerczyk, was sentenced to nine months in prison. Emilio Herrera, also of Chicago, pleaded guilty to cyber crimes and will be sentenced next month.
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Source : http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-branford-man-hacking-20180111-story.html