Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple IDs of Professional Musicians and Athletes

Kwamaine Jerell Ford, a Georgia hacker who was caught breaching the Apple accounts of professional musicians and athletes, today pled guilty to accessing those accounts and stealing credit card information from his victims.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Virginia (via The Verge), Ford targeted high-profile athletes and musicians and tricked the victims into providing their Apple account passwords.
"The high profile victims in this case are an example that no matter who you are, hackers like Ford are trying to get your personal information," said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "This case demonstrates the need to be careful in protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious e-mails. Hopefully this is a lesson for everyone, not just the victims in this case."
Starting in March 2015, Ford used a phishing scheme to get the login credentials for the Apple accounts. He targeted NBA players, NFL players, and rappers, sending thousands of phishing emails spoofing legitimate customer service accounts.

Posing as an Apple support representative, Ford asked victims to send their usernames, passwords, and answers to security questions.

After getting this information, Ford would log into the Apple accounts and attempt to take them over. According to Apple, there were hundreds of unauthorized logins to victims' Apple accounts.

Stolen credit card details were then used to pay for things like air travel, hotels, furniture, money transfers, and more. He has been charged with six counts each of wire fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He pled guilty to one count of computer fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

For Apple users concerned with hacking attempts, it's always best to be wary. Apple does not email or cold call users asking for account information, so calls and emails requesting data are fake.

Apple has a dedicated support page with information on how to avoid phishing emails and other scam techniques that malicious individuals employ to extract information from Apple users.



Top Rated Comments

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16 weeks ago
Can we please stop equating phishing to hacking?
Rating: 31 Votes
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16 weeks ago
Please stop using the word “hacking”. Phishing is far more appropriate.
Rating: 19 Votes
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16 weeks ago

tricked the victims into providing their Apple account passwords

Not a hack.
Rating: 12 Votes
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16 weeks ago
Phishing passwords is not hacking. Media outlets do a disservice to Apple customers and the public when they use the terms interchangeably.
Rating: 12 Votes
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16 weeks ago
This isn't "hacking."
Rating: 9 Votes
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16 weeks ago
said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta
Rating: 9 Votes
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16 weeks ago
Please update the headline, this was phishing. He tricked them into giving him their passwords, he didn’t hack anything.
Rating: 7 Votes
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16 weeks ago

Sad apple doesn't even try to prevent this. Got the most powerful bionic a12 chip and this is what you get.

How do you protect someone gullible from an email asking for their login details?

2FA only works if the user turns it on.
Rating: 7 Votes
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16 weeks ago

said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta


Boy, the people who have programmed the simulation that we all live in are getting a bit lazy.
Rating: 6 Votes
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16 weeks ago

Sad apple doesn't even try to prevent this. Got the most powerful bionic a12 chip and this is what you get.

Sad that basically everything just gets turned around on Apple, pretty much automatically, essentially just because.
Rating: 6 Votes
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