Connecticut Man Sent to Prison for 2014 Celebrity iCloud Hack

iCloud AltConnecticut man George Garafano has been sentenced to eight months in prison for his role in the 2014 iCloud hacks that saw many celebrity photos illicitly shared on the internet.

Garafano was accused of hacking the iCloud accounts of more than 200 people over the course of 18 months, including multiple celebrities.

According to the Hartford Courant, a federal judge in Connecticut ordered the eight month prison term, which will be followed by three years of supervision after release.

Garafano in April pleaded guilty to sending phishing emails to his victims posing as a member of Apple's online security team to obtain usernames and passwords. During the case, prosecutors said he traded the photos that he stole with other hackers and may have sold some of them to earn extra income.

Prosecutors had argued that Garafano should serve 10 to 16 months in prison, while Garafano asked for a more lenient sentence of five months in prison followed by five months in home confinement.

Garafano, who was in college at the time, says he has already suffered for his role in the 2014 hacking event and has "cleaned up his act" since the hacking occurred.

There were a total of four people charged with breaking into the iCloud accounts of celebrities, including Ryan Collins, Edward Majerczyk, and Emilio Herrera, along with Garafano. The other hackers have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from nine months to 18 months.

When hundreds of nude celebrity photos began leaking online in 2014, there was initial speculation that iCloud had been hacked, but following an investigation, Apple determined that the accounts had been compromised by weak passwords.

Apple has since made improvements to its iCloud security by adding two-factor authentication to iCloud.com, introducing email alerts when an iCloud account is accessed on the web, and requiring app-specific passwords for third-party apps that access iCloud.

Top Rated Comments

genovelle Avatar
38 months ago
Why is this called a hack when these people gave them their password. This is why anti-Apple people still try to blame Apple saying they were hacked and leaked the pictures.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ikir Avatar
38 months ago
anyway the title says “hack” but it was phishing

When hundreds of nude celebrity photos began leaking online in 2014, there was initial speculation that iCloud had been hacked, but following an investigation, Apple determined that the accounts had been compromised by weak passwords ('https://www.macrumors.com/2014/09/02/apple-no-celebrity-icloud-breach/').
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
38 months ago
Phishing and social engineering attacks will always succeed in some measure because people are always the weakest links in security.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
38 months ago
MR, please, this isn’t a hack. I know the title will get more visits, but if you use the same password for every account and answer every applelegit@maybenot.com email with your personal details, that’s phishing.

Hack implies Apple’s servers were compromised. There’s a big difference between that and people getting scammed.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scottsoapbox Avatar
38 months ago
I feel like 8 months in prison is kind of harsh for getting dumb people to hand over a password.

And PSA for celebrities: don't store your naked pictures in the cloud.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FFR Avatar
38 months ago
They never mention google or gmail.
Don’t know what’s up with that.

“Prosecutors said in court documents that between November 2012 and September 2014, Collins "knowingly, intentionally, and in furtherance of criminal and tortious acts" accessed at least 50 Apple iCloud accounts and about 72 Google Gmail accounts belonging to more than 100 people. “
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
iphone12cameras

iPhone Helps to Identify Rare Form of Cancer

Friday July 23, 2021 4:00 am PDT by
A photo taken on an iPhone has helped to identify a rare form of cancer, according to news reports. A mother of three from Gainesville, Florida took a photo of her three-month-old son using her iPhone and its True Tone flash, which highlighted an abnormality in his right eye. The boy's mother, a labor and delivery nurse, recalled learning about retinoblastoma during her training....
iphone 13 blue with text

iPhone 13 May Support 25W Fast Charge Power Adapter

Friday July 23, 2021 2:52 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 may support faster-charging speeds with a 25W power adapter, compared to the current limitation of the iPhone 12, which only supports fast charging at up to 20W, according to a rumor originating from China. The iPhone 12 supports fast charging with a 20W or higher power adapter; however, even if users use a more powerful wall adapter, the iPhone itself only supports up to 20W....
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...