Hacker guilty of stealing stars' intimate pics

Ceria Alfonso
Enero 13, 2018

A CT man has plead guilty to a felony computer hacking charge related to the 2014 "Celebgate" cybercrime in which celebrities' nude photos were exposed on the internet, federal authorities say.

George Garofano, from North Branford, agreed to plead guilty Thursday to unauthorized access to a protected computer and faces up to five years in prison.

Though many victims were celebrities in Los Angeles, prosecutors said a number of victims were non-celebrities in CT.

According to a plea agreement, Garofano admitted that between April 2013 and October 2014, he sent emails to victims that appeared to be from Apple security accounts.

The hacker then used the usernames and passwords to illegally access his victims' iCloud accounts, which allowed him to steal personal information, including sensitive and private photographs and videos, according to his plea agreement.

He then traded that information with other people.

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Kate Upton was one of the celebrity victims of the nude photo hacking scandal.


Although many of Garofano's victims were A-listers, including Gabrielle Union, Kaley Cuoco and soccer star Hope Solo, many non-celebrities who live in CT were also targeted, according to officials.

Garafano's case marks the fourth in the FBI investigation. Once he enters the guilty plea, Garofano will face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, authorities say.

The details of this new case are similar to those of the three, in which the individuals did commit the crime but did not actually post the hacked photos online themselves.

Jennifer Lawrence has called the nude photo leak a "sexual violation."

"George is a good person who was taken advantage of by several hackers more sophisticated than himself", lawyer Richard Lynch said in an email to Hartford Courant.

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