Tag Archives: Celebrities

Fourth Fappening Hacker Admits to Stealing Celebrity Pics From iCloud Accounts

Fourth Fappening Hacker Admits to Stealing Pics From Celebrities’ iCloud Accounts

Almost three years after the massive leakage of high-profile celebrities’ nude photos—well known as “The Fappening” or “Celebgate” scandal—a fourth hacker has been charged with hacking into over 250 Apple iCloud accounts belonged to Hollywood celebrities.

A federal court has accused George Garofano, 26, of North Branford, of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, who had been arrested by the FBI.

Garofano has admitted to illegally obtaining credentials for his victims’ iCloud accounts using a phishing scheme, which eventually allowed him to steal personal information on his victims, including sensitive and private photographs and videos.

Among celebrities whose nude photographs were posted online back in 2014 are Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kirsten Dunst, and Kate Upton. Also, female victims also include American Olympic gold medallist Misty May Treanor and actors Alexandra Chando, Kelli Garner and Lauren O’Neil.

Between April 2013 to October 2014, Garofano engaged in sending phishing emails pretended to be from Apple security team to several celebrities, tricking them into providing their iCloud account credentials, which they stole to access their accounts illegally.

“Garofano admitted that he sent emails to victims that appeared to be from security accounts of Apple and encouraged the victims to send him their usernames and passwords, or to enter them on a third-party website, where he would later retrieve them,” the Justice Department said.

Besides stealing victims’ personal information, including sensitive and private photographs and videos, from their iCloud accounts using stolen credentials, Garofano, in some instances, also traded the stolen credentials, along with the materials he stole from the victims’ accounts, with other individuals.

In a plea agreement signed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Garofano agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorised access to a protected computer to obtain information, facing up to 5 years in prison.

Garofano is the fourth hacker charged in connection with the Celebgate incident. Emilio Herrera, 32, Edward Majerczyk, 28, and Ryan Collins, 36, pleaded guilty last year to being involved in the celebrity photo hack.

While Herrera is waiting for sentencing next month, Majerczyk was sentenced to nine months in prison and Collins was sentenced to 18 months last year.

The investigation into the Celebgate scandal is being conducted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Fappening 2017: More Celebrity Nude Photos Hacked and Leaked Online

Fappening

It seems like celebrities have not taken their security seriously, which once again resulted in the leaking of nude and personal photographs of more a-listed celebrities.

Dozens of personal and intimate photos of Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, Katharine McPhee, golfer Tiger Woods and his ex Lindsey Vonn have reportedly been surfaced on the Internet, and have widely been shared on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter.

The incident comes a few months after “The Fappening 2.0” surfaced, leaking alleged pictures of many female celebrities, including Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried on Reddit and 4chan.

The latest release of celebs private photos seems to have come after an unidentified hacker or group of hackers has gained access to celebs’ Apple iCloud accounts and stolen private iPhone photos and videos.

A similar trick was used in the 2014 Fappening incident, where anonymous hackers flooded the Internet with private photographs of major celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst.

Apple responded to the 2014 hack by pledging to bolster iCloud security, and the Fappening 2014 hackers have since been sent to prison.

Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Demi Lovato, Lucy Hale, Kate Hudson, Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Suki Waterhouse and Alison Brie, and much more are just the latest victims adds to the long list of affected celebrities.

The compromised images were posted on the Celeb Jihad website, and the celebrities’ lawyers are reported to be actively working to get those pictures taken off, but they are now being copied and shared across the internet.

The 2014 Fappening hackers used phishing to trick celebrities into entering their iCloud account credentials into bogus ‘security’ websites and then accessed private photographs and videos of more than 300 victims.

However, it is unclear what attack vector attackers used in the latest hack to broke into celebrities’ iCloud accounts.

How To Keep Your Private Photos Private

If you are looking for the best way to keep your photos off the Internet, the simplest solution to this is—Don’t click them and store them insecurely. But if you do so, there are a few steps that you can follow to minimise the risk:

  • Do not click on any suspicious links or attachments in the email you received.
  • When in doubt, contact the sender to confirm that he or she sent the email to you or not.
  • Never provide your personal or financial information through an email to anyone.
  • No service, be it Google, Apple, or Microsoft, ever asks for your password or any other sensitive personal information over an email.
  • It’s always a good idea to regularly update your passwords and security questions.
  • Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts and always choose a strong and different password for all your accounts. If you are unable to create and remember different passwords for each site, you can use a good password manager.

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Searching for celebrity news on Google can be dangerous for your computer

celebrites-malware-panda-security

Something as apparently inoffensive as employees keeping up with the lives of ‘celebs’ on the Internet could be far more dangerous than you think for your company’s IT systems. Whether you like it or not, some employees take advantage of dead time (and not-so-dead time) to look for all the latest gossip and news on the Web.

There may not be anything too risky about reading reputable newspapers online to see the latest news or check out your team’s results (although there have been cases of malware-laden ads in online newspapers). However, gossip columns and other celebrity stories have become a serious threat for the security of computers and mobile devices.

Cyber-criminals are well aware of the interest generated by the lives of the stars, which is why they have come up with specific strategies to bait users into downloading malicious programs on their computers when they access this content.

Cyber-criminals are well-aware of the interest generated by the lives of the stars.

The first step that the average user takes when looking for information about celebs is to ask Google. Yet some searches are more risky than others. Some famous people and related events offer more potential for attackers, as was the case recently with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie after their separation became public.

New film or music releases are also a popular weapon for criminals whose aim is to infect users’ computers and devices looking for passwords and other confidential information. Whenever a new story breaks, searches related to those involved increase dramatically and it becomes easier to infect users with malware hidden on malicious websites with related stories.

New film or music releases are also a popular weapon for criminals.

In order to minimize the threat, apart from having an efficient policy for controlling the way your employees use your company’s devices, the most effective measure is awareness. Firstly, your company’s workers should learn to distinguish between trusted pages and those that could potentially be used by criminals to infiltrate your systems. They should also avoid any links to illegal downloads, whether direct or via ‘torrent’ (highly in demand when a new film or song is released).

Of course, you can get an additional guarantee of protection against malware that exploits users’ fascination with celebrity news by having a security solution to protect all your devices, such as Panda Security’s corporate solutions.

The post Searching for celebrity news on Google can be dangerous for your computer appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

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