Snapchat Account Hacker Pleads Guilty: Unveiling the Dark Side of Privacy Invasion and Profit

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SCRANTON, PA — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Brandon B. Boyer, age 34, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, to the computer hacking offense of obtaining information from protected computers.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the criminal Information to which Boyer pleaded guilty alleges that for a two-year period from February 2020 to February 2022, Boyer unlawfully accessed the computers of dozens of adult female victims in order to search for and obtain nude photographs that he could then sell.  More specifically, Boyer acknowledged accessing victims’ Snapchat accounts at the behest of “clients” who paid him to break into the accounts and obtain the images.  Boyer admitted that he accomplished this, in part, through the use of an app that allowed him to send text messages to victims posing as a Snapchat representative.  Through a technique known as “phishing,” Boyer then coaxed the victims into changing their passwords and sending him the verification codes that were generated.  This allowed him to then access the accounts.

Boyer agreed that the monetary loss attributable to his conduct was between $40,000 and $95,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division.  U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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