On Wednesday, a Connecticut man named George Garofano was sentenced to eight months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for engaging in a phishing scam that gave him access to more than 200 iCloud accounts, according to a Justice Department news release.
In court, Garofano admitted to illegally obtaining usernames and passwords of celebrities and non-famous people alike by sending emails that appeared to be from Apple security accounts. He then gained access to personal files, private photos and videos, which were later distributed on websites like Reddit and exchanged with other individuals.
Garofano was released on a $50,000 bond, but will report to prison on Oct. 10, after which he will be ordered to complete 60 hours of community service, U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden ruled.
Garofano pleaded guilty in April to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.
Earlier this month, as the verdict loomed, Garofano asked the court for leniency and filed court documents requesting no more than five months in prison, while prosecutors pushed to sentence him for 10 to 16 months.
“It will take me a while to forgive myself for this, and I am disappointed in myself,” Garofano said in the court filing. “I feel remorse for anyone that could have been affected by this on any scale, public or private. It is a part of my life that I will always regret, as it has never been a reflection of who I am as an individual.”
Two other men, Ryan Collins and Edward Majerczyk, have previously been sentenced for similar crimes in relation to the hacking with prison sentences of 18 months and 9 months, respectively.
The “Hunger Games” actress has been one of the most outspoken victims of the attack, likening the hacking experience to being “gang-banged by the fucking planet.”
“There’s not one person in the world that’s not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “You can just be at a barbecue and somebody can just pull them up on their phone. That was a really impossible thing to process.”
She’s since revealed that doing a nude scene in the spy thriller “Red Sparrow” helped her reclaim some agency over the situation.
“One is my choice,” she explained. “I got something back that was taken from me, and it also felt normal.”
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