In 2014 over 600 victims were violated when an online hacker got access to, and shared all over the internet personal pictures of said celebrities. Some of the celebrities hacked, such as Keke Palmer, were lucky to not have any nude or sexually explicit photos on their iCloud accounts, and since that seemed to be the main purpose for the hack, they were not greatly affected. Sadly, many of the hacked celebrities did have private photos revealed. The list of those hacked included, but is not limited to Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, Kate Bosworth, Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne, Hope Solo, and many more.
Reactions to the hack varied, some celebrities came out and confirmed the pictures, but explained how it was a great violation of their privacy, some celebrities denied the pictures were of them, and some celebrities did not comment at all. The hacker was able to get access to all of the photos due to a flaw iCloud through a lack of preventive measures taken by Apple. Most online services block users from attempting to log in to an account after a few attempts, but Apple’s “Find My iPhone” and iCloud did not have this feature. An extreme problem because the services are two personal aspects of a person’s phone. This problem was fixed, but not until after the damage was done.
In March, the hacker, Ryan Collins, was charged with felony computer hacking. The sentence for such a crime is a severe as five years in federal prison. At the time of the hack it was believed that the punishment would be extreme. After a similar hack in 2011 done by Christopher Chaney, he received a punishment of 10 years in federal prison. Collins was presented with a plea deal though, and will only be facing 18 months in federal prison. Although there was proof that Collins had obtained the photos, there was no evidence of him sharing the photos.
A punishment such as this does not necessarily influence others to not hack in the future. The other problem with such a lenient sentencing is that when considers the amount of people affected, as well as the impact had on those that were hacked, the sentencing seems unjust. Hopefully more and more online services will update their systems to implement higher protection.