Hao Kuo Chi, 40, of La Puente, Los Angeles, has agreed to plead guilty to four felonies, including conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a computer (via LA Times).
Stealing iCloud Photos
Mr. Chi gained access to thousands of iCloud accounts and collected over 620,000 photos to collect and share images of “nude young women.” He did this by impersonating Apple customer support to trick people into giving him their account login information.
Chi acknowledged in court papers that he and his unnamed co-conspirators used a foreign encrypted email service to communicate with each other anonymously. When they came across nude photos and videos stored in victims’ iCloud accounts, they called them “wins,” which they collected and shared with one another.
The FBI revealed in court documents that they had identified two Gmail addresses used by Mr. Chi: “applebackupicloud” and “backupagenticloud” used to lure victims. The agency found over 500,000 emails in the two accounts, including about 4,700 with iCloud user IDs and passwords.
On August 5 he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer. He faces up to five years in prison for each of the four crimes.
Mr. Chi “expressed fear that public exposure of his crimes would ‘ruin my whole life.’ I’m remorseful for what I did, but I have a family,” he said.