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Oregon man pleads guilty to hacking celebrity emails

20 February 2016, 20:30

Los Angeles — An Oregon man who accessed hundreds of email accounts and stole explicit photos of celebrities has pleaded guilty to a felony hacking charge in Los Angeles.

Andrew Helton of Astoria, Oregon, faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing nude or explicit photos from 13 people, including some unidentified celebrities. The plea was entered Thursday.

Hundreds of stolen nude images of stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis have been posted online in recent years.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says Helton's is a separate case and that none of the images he stole are believed to have leaked online.

Helton's attorney Shanon L. Gray had no immediate comment Friday.

Prosecutors say Helton's "phishing" scheme involved sending victims emails they thought were from Apple or Google. The messages asked victims to verify their email accounts by clicking on a link that took them to a phony website, where Helton collected their usernames and passwords.

Prosecutors say Helton used the information to access more than 360 email accounts.

Helton, 29, is scheduled to be sentenced June 2.

- AP

Tags hacking

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