California Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing 620,000 iCloud Photos in Search for Nude Photos
A Los Angeles County man has pled guilty to stealing over 620,000 iCloud images from Apple users.
According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times, a California man impersonated an Apple customer support technician in a socially engineered email campaign that stole people’s iCloud passwords to break into accounts and collected upwards of 620,000 private photos and videos.
Hao Kuo Chi, 40, of La Puente, has agreed to plead guilty to four felonies, including conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a computer, in a scam that ultimately aimed to steal and share nude images of young women.
Chi admitted to marketing himself as a hacker-for-hire that could break into iCloud accounts using the moniker “icloudripper4you.” He then would dupe people into giving up their Apple IDs and passwords so he could steal photos from where they were stored in the cloud on Apple servers.
In his agreement to plead guilty earlier this month, Chi confessed he obtained unauthorized access to at least 306 iCloud accounts for people — primarily young women — in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
“Chi and his conspirators sought out nude photographs and videos stored in victim iCloud accounts, which they referred to as ‘wins,’ and collected, shared, and traded ‘wins’ with one another,” the plea agreement stated.
Chi reportedly faces up to five years in prison for each of the four crimes he pled guilty to, namely one count of conspiracy and three counts of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer.