On Wednesday, a Georgian man pleaded guilty to hacking Apple accounts of several famous musicians and athletes and spending thousands of dollars on victims' accounts.
According to the Department of Justice, Kwamaine Jerell Ford, 27, obtained the log-in credentials belonging to dozens of professional athletes, including NBA and NFL players, as well as famous rappers, through a phishing scheme. Ford sent emails from addresses that purported to be an Apple support representative.
The Justice Department did not reveal exactly who was hacked.
Apple received what the Justice Department cited as "hundreds" of unauthorized logins of victims' accounts. After receiving the login credentials, Ford would try to take control of the accounts by changing the email addresses and passwords, which meant that the victims could not access them without the help of an Apple employee.
Ford spent thousands of dollars on everything from furniture and money transfers to travel expenses.
"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 FBI Special Agent Chris Hacker. "This case demonstrates the need to be careful when protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious emails. We hope this is a lesson for everyone, not just the victims in this case. "
Last April, Ford was charged with six counts of electronic fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity fraud. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty only to one count of computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, which is scheduled for later this summer.
Several celebrities were hacked into their Apple accounts in the past because of phishing scams In 2014, at least four hackers infiltrated celebrity iCloud accounts and leaked their nude photos online, an event known as Celebgate, with four hackers sentenced for their roles as of August 2018.