A ‘celebgate’ hacker was sentenced to nine months in jail on Tuesday for breaking into the online accounts of at least 30 stars and stealing private information, including nude videos and photos. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Edward Majerczyk, 29, from Illinois, Chicago, was engaged in a phishing scheme during the period November 2013 to August 2014 wherein he illegally accessed more than 300 email and other online accounts, including stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco and Kirsten Dunst.
He has also been ordered to pay $5,700 to an unnamed individual for “restitution for counselling services.”
Last year, Majerczyk pleaded guilty to a count of “unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.” He signed a plea agreement for his case to be transferred to Chicago. He was not formally charged or accused of selling or posting the material online.
In the case, Majerczyk claims that he “sent emails to his victims that appeared to have come from internet service providers seeking usernames and passwords.” He used collected data to illegally access the private information.
Majerczyk’s attorney Thomas Needham wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed on January 19 that his client was “suffering from depression and looked to pornography websites and internet chat rooms in an attempt to fill some of the voids and disappointment he was feeling in his life.”
Needham added that Majerczyk had “consistently expressed remorse,” for the hacking.
Needham said in a sentencing memo that the fallout from the hacking scandal “deeply affected” Majerczyk, and he had been seeking therapy for anxiety and panic attacks.
His attorney stated that they were for his personal use and he had no plans to spread them.
In the meantime, Jennifer – whose nude photos appeared online – previously dubbed the hacking a “sex crime”.
She said: “I was just so afraid. I didn’t know how this would affect my career … 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. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world …
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”