George Garofano has been sentenced to 8 months in prison for illegally hacking into over 200 Apple iCloud accounts and leaking nude photographs online. Actress Jennifer Lawrence was targeted by the hack, which resulted in dozens of her personal pictures leaked and spread all around the internet. In addition to the prison time, Garofano will also have probation for 3 years and have 60 hours of community service. The other four men convicted in the incident have already begun their jail time, ranging anywhere from 9 to 18 months.
At the time of the leak, Jennifer Lawrence was devastated and felt that she had been the victim of a sex crime. Over 100 other actresses also had personal images that ended up online, including Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst. Lawrence and others have been fighting for stricter laws in the case of hacking personal information and posting it online. She had this to say.
"Just because I'm a public figure, just because I'm an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It's my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting."
George Garofano pleaded guilty of the crime back in April of this year. Garofano posed as an Apple security officer in targeted emails to actresses and other private citizens in order to get password and username information. From there, Garofano allegedly worked with four other men to get the content out into the world. The prosecution had this to say during his sentencing.
"Mr. Garofano's offense was a serious one. He illegally hacked into his victims' online accounts, invaded their privacy, and stole their personal information, including private and intimate photos... He engaged in this conduct 240 times over the course of 18 months. Not only did Mr. Garofano keep for himself the photographs he stole, he disseminated them to other individuals. He may have also sold them to others to earn extra income."
Since this is George Garofano's first offense, his lawyers tried to get a lesser sentence of 5 months in jail with an additional 5 months on home confinement. The judge shut Garofano down and gave him half of the suggested sentence for his felony offense. Hacking of personal information is nothing new, but Garofano's operation was huge and left many actresses in Hollywood feeling violated.
Apple also commented on the hacking case back in 2014 and indicated that the scheme had nothing to do with their security. The tech company put the blame solely on the hackers who impersonated Apple security team members in order to obtain the usernames and passwords for the accounts. As many people know, nothing really disappears from the internet, which means that these pictures will always be available, while the men responsible for the leaks only spend time in jail for a set amount of time. The Guardian was the first to break the illegal hacking news.