Threat Management, Malware, Phishing

Third man pleads guilty in Celebgate case

A 32-year-old Chicago man is reportedly facing a maximum five years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty to hacking celebrities' Gmail and iCloud accounts in order to obtain their nude photos and videos.

According to various  reports, Emilio Herrera is the third person to be prosecuted following a federal investigation into Celebgate, a 2014 scandal in which celebrities' intimate digital photos were stolen and in some cases publicly leaked. Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were among the victims.

There is no evidence that Herrera actually leaked any of the photos that he personally accessed, reports state, but Herrera does acknowledge in his plea agreement that he hacked into 550 accounts, approximately 40 of which belonged to celebrities.

Herrera admitted that he obtained his victims' user names and passwords via a phishing scheme in which he impersonated the security accounts of internet service providers. However, he claims his intention was never to share the images he stole.

Two other men -- Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Penn. and Edward Majerczyk of Chicago -- were previously sentenced to jail time following their own separate guilty pleas stemming from the Celebgate investigation.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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