A New York man has been sentenced to three years behind bars after stealing nude images of dozens of female victims whose social media accounts he hacked.
Nicholas Faber, 25, of Rochester, pleaded guilty back in February to one count of computer intrusion causing damage and one count of aggravated identity theft.
From around 2017 to 2019, Faber admitted to working with co-conspirator Michael Fish to access the email accounts of dozens of female college students at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Plattsburgh.
They are said to have used that information to access the victims’ social media accounts, steal intimate photos and movies and even trade them with others online.
According to the Department of Justice, the university was forced to allocate staff and extra funds to identify the compromised accounts, review access logs, reset passwords and notify students and parents.
As reported by Infosecurity earlier this year, Fish is said to have also created and sold collages featuring personal photos, sexually explicit images, and formal graduation photos of the victims.
He pleaded guilty in May to computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and child pornography offenses and was later charged with obstruction of justice after allegedly submitting six fraudulent letters to a judge attesting to his good character.
Former high school valedictorian Faber, who graduated from SUNY-Plattsburgh in 2017, will also face three years of federal supervision following his release. He has agreed to pay $35,430 in restitution to the university.
The case calls to mind the infamous “Celebgate” iCloud attacks from 2014, in which explicit private photos of around 100 celebrities were stolen from email and social media accounts and leaked online.
It also highlights the importance of strong email and social media security, particularly enabling two-factor authentication where possible.