A cracker living in the US state of Georgia confessed last Wednesday (March 27) that he had hacked into the Apple IDs of several famous professional athletes and rappers in the United States, including NBA and NFL players, which resulted in a loss of thousands of dollars to victims.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Kwamaine Jerell Ford (27 years old) obtained the login credentials of these users from a large scheme of phishing which started in 2015. To obtain access information for these Apple IDs, the cracker sent emails in which he pretended to be an Apple support representative.
The report points out that Apple received «hundreds» of alerts for unauthorized logins from victims’ accounts. After accessing them, Ford changed the password and recovery information for that credential, that is, users could not recover their accounts without the help of an Apple employee.
The Justice Department has not revealed the names of the sports and music celebrities whose accounts have been hacked, but reports say Ford spent thousands of dollars from victims on transfers and travel expenses. FBI special agent Chris Hacker argued that despite the victims’ notoriety, this could happen to anyone.
The high profile of the victims in this case is an example that, no matter who you are, crackers like Ford are trying to get your personal information. This demonstrates the need to be careful when protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious emails. I hope this is a lesson for everyone, not just for the victims of this case.
Ford admitted his participation in only two of the six crimes he was indicted in April last year. In addition to being accused of computer fraud and identity theft, he is also on trial for access device fraud and electronic fraud. The cracker sentence will be released at the beginning of the second half of this year.
This is not the first case of celebrities who had their Apple IDs hacked after scams applied to Apple devices. In 2014, at least four crackers infiltrated the accounts of several celebrities, such as actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst, in the case known as Celebgate. Last August, the final sentence of these criminals was released.