LA County resident booked in iCloud phishing scam pretended to be an Apple representative.
A Los Angeles County man identified as Hao Kuo Chi was arrested for breaching thousands of Apple iCloud accounts and obtaining over 620,000 private photos and 9,000 videos of nearly 306 young women.
According to the feds, the 40-year-old La Puente, California resident gained access to nude photos of the victims after hacking into 200 iCloud accounts.
Accused Pleads Guilty
The accused pleaded guilty to four felonies for pretending to be an Apple representative and breaking into iCloud accounts. The charges include conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a computer.
The accused, who used the alias David, admitted that he impersonated Apple customer support staff and carry out iCloud phishing scams against unsuspecting victims to trick them into providing their Apple IDs and passwords.
Young Women Were the Prime Targets
According to LA Times’ report, during the scam, Chi sent out 500,000 emails. Most of the victims were young females, the accused acknowledged. He has signed a plea agreement with federal prosecution in Tampa, Florida.
The FBI revealed that during the investigation, they found two Gmail addresses attached to the usernames the accused used in the scam, ‘applebackupicloud’ and ‘backupagenticloud’ that had over 4,700 iCloud IDs and passwords.
Accused Ran a Hacker For Hire Service
Court documents revealed that Chi marketed himself as capable of hacking iCloud accounts to steal images and videos. According to Chi, he hacked into the accounts of around 200 victims upon the request of people he met online, where he offered Hacker for Hire services under the moniker “icloudripper4you.”
Chi also mentioned using a foreign encrypted email service to communicate with his (yet unnamed) accomplices. When they found nude photos or videos of their victims, they sent the code word Wins and later shared the data with each other.
“I’m remorseful for what I did, but I have a family,” Chi stated.