NORTH AMERICA- A man from Illinois has been sentenced to nine months in a federal prison on Tuesday for breaking into the email and online storage of celebrities to obtain their private photos and videos, according to CBC news.
The U.S. Attorney’s office stated that , Edward Majerczyk, 29, pleaded guilty to felony computer hacking charges last year.
Majerczyk accepted the charges in September to federal computer hacking charges, but the Justice Department and Needham said investigators had not uncovered any evidence linking Majerczyk to the actual leaks.
He was originally charged in Los Angeles, but his case was transferred to Illinois as part of his plea agreement.
Joseph Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Zach Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois said that he will begin serving his sentence on February 27.
Majerczyk’s attorney, Thomas Needham, could not immediately be reached for comment according to CBC News.
Needham wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed on Jan. 19. By saying,
“At the time of the offence, Mr. Majerczyk was suffering from depression and looked to pornography websites and Internet chat rooms in an attempt to fill some of the voids and disappointment he was feeling in his life,”
Needham added that Majerczyk had “consistently expressed remorse,” for the hacking.
The hacked material was for Majerczyk’s personal use and his viewing, Needham said in the memorandum.
According to a plea agreement signed by Majerczyk, he illegally accessed accounts on Apple Inc’s iCloud and Alphabet Inc’s Google Gmail accounts belonging to more than 300 people, using an email “phishing” ploy to obtain their user names and passwords.
He was able to access full iCloud backups belonging to numerous victims, including at least 30 celebrities, many of whom reside in the Los Angeles area.
No victims were named in the court documents, according to the site, the investigation began after Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities, including actresses Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union and model Kate Upton, spoke out in interviews about having their private photos end up publicly disseminated online.