A man in Suffolk, England, has been jailed for 32 months after being found guilty of hacking of iCloud accounts of women and children in September 2019 and posting their intimate images online.
He was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court in relation to 12 computer misuse offences, nine counts of voyeurism and five counts of taking indecent images of children.
His crimes were discovered when Essex police were informed of a woman’s account being hacked and images of her changing had been posted online. An investigation revealed that up to 64 women and children across Suffolk had been targeted.
Searches of Spencer’s home in 2017 by the Essex Cyber Crime Team revealed computers containing images of 12 of his victims plus the software he used to hack the accounts by phishing passwords.
Sergeant Ian Collins of the cybercrime unit said: “Spencer went to extreme lengths to obtain images of young women and children without permission for his own and others’ sexual gratification. His secret lifestyle went hidden for many years until we received just a single report that revealed much, much more.
“He used his specialist knowledge to hack his unsuspecting victims’ accounts and then accessed their most intimate photographs for his own sexual purpose and that of others. Spencer was not able to access any accounts secured with 2FA as he would have needed the mobile phone of the victims at the same time.
“This case highlights the importance of using two-factor authentication (2FA) on your online accounts.”
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iCloud storage software is designed to keep user’s data safe from hacks such as this. Previous incidents of iCloud account hacking in the UK indicate a concern with the safety of private data stored online.
The investigation in this case is part of a larger Essex Police investigation involving several suspects across the country found to be hacking into hundreds of iCloud accounts.
It started after a woman from Grays, Essex, reported her iCloud account being hacked and her personal intimate pictures posted online.