Hacker hacks icloud accounts and goes to jail

Hao Kuo Chi, a man based in Southern California, US, has admitted hacking hundreds of accounts on iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service, to steal and then sell photos of nude young women. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.T

he 40-year-old cybercriminal was part of a group dedicated to this activity, receiving payments to deliver private materials from victims.

Hao Kuo Chi was arrested earlier this year at his home in Los Angeles. The local police found evidence of the theft of photos and videos, in large quantities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that the man has now pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and computer fraud in Florida District Court.

Authorities indicated that Hao Kuo Chi was part of a network selling nude photos and videos, an activity dating back to at least 2014. According to the Department of Justice, along with other cybercriminals, he conspired to “hack the iCloud accounts of hundreds of people in search of photos and videos”. The plea deal indicates that Hao Kuo Chi and others involved sold and sometimes kept the materials on personal devices.

A search warrant executed at Hao Kuo Chi’s home in May found terabytes (TB) of digital storage archived from nude photos and videos. It was previously reported that this man was in possession of nearly 620,000 stolen photos and videos from hundreds of private accounts.

According to Gizmodo, the method used in the thefts was primitive: in the classic phishing scheme, they pretended to be members of Apple Support and thus deceived the victims and stole their user accounts and passwords. Police discovered two Gmail accounts linked to Chi containing more than half a million emails, about 4,700 of those emails containing iCloud account credentials provided by victims.