If the Sony leak and the recent Democratic party email leak is anything to go by, hacking is an invisible invasion and no one is safe. There was a time when celebrities and politicians could hire lawyers, PR firms and spin doctors to control their public image and keep their private lives secure, but not any more.
Last August, over 500 nude and illicit, private photos of famous women were leaked by anonymous hackers. The leak targeted Hollywood actresses, singers and top models and later became known as #TheFappening for reasons that are both obvious and disappointing. After a year of hunting, the F.B.I finally tracked down hacker Ryan Collins who plead guilty to charges of mass invasion of privacy.
The 36 year old virtual pirate was sentenced to 18 months in prison. We're going to take a closer look at the case
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How Did He Do It?
Ryan Collins ran an email phishing scam to acquire the emails and passwords of over 100 actresses, singers and models including Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and Avril Lavigne. Posing as Apple, Collins and co. breached the celebrities' iCloud accounts to gain access to their private photos, emails and more. Apple were criticized for allowing hackers to abuse simple loopholes in their system.
What's Going To Happen To Him?
Collins was originally charged with five years imprisonment and $250,000 fine but after pleading guilty was sentenced only to 18 months in jail. That being said the F.B.I admitted that there was no evidence that linked Collins to the crime nor could they prove his involvement which has lead many to believe that Collins is merely a scapegoat. Whether or not he was working for a larger organization remains to be seen but if hacking into celebrity accounts was this easy, it seems that anyone could do it.
Why Did He Do It?
Whether he intended on getting the world's lonely, teenage boys to touch themselves even more or not, the Fappening is a terrifying example of privacy invasion. This malicious display of power specifically targeted famous women, not men. Privacy used to be a luxury, if you had money you could build walls around your private life and keep your intimate secrets locked down. Now, wealthy people are being targeted so they are less safe. Privacy is no longer a luxury, it is a myth.