Pa. man sent to prison for hacking, selling women’s nude Snapchat photos | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A federal judge sentenced a 34-year-old Pottsville man to 18 months in prison for hacking women’s Snapchat accounts to steal and sell nude photographs of them, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said.

Brandon B. Boyer, of Schuylkill County, was sentenced Thursday for the “computer hacking offense of obtaining information from protected computers,” according to a release from the Department of Justice.

The release said he hacked into dozens of women’s accounts through Snapchat to find nude photos that he could then sell between 2020 and 2022. Boyer accessed victims’ Snapchat accounts at the behest of “clients” who paid him to break into specific accounts and obtain the images.

Boyer admitted he was able to do this by using a texting app that allowed him to send text messages to victims posing as a “sophisticated” Snapchat representative. He then tricked the victims into changing their passwords and sending him the subsequent verification codes to access their accounts, according to the press release.

This gave him the ability to log into their Snapchat accounts and open private sections of the accounts, pulling desired photos. Boyer acknowledged earning between $50,000 and $60,000 selling the photos.

Some of Boyer’s “clients” used the photographs they got from Boyer to cyberstalk and try to extort the women into providing additional photographs. At least one of his “clients” has been charged in western Pa., in connection to the scheme. Luke Robert Swinehart, 22, of Lock Haven, was indicted in July with six other defendants, including five from Pa.

Federal officials did not release any information about whether additional “clients” are being investigated or may be charged for their roles.

Boyer faced up to five years in federal prison. His attorney had asked for no prison time because he lacked a prior criminal record. But prosecutors said his lack of a record is already considered in the sentencing guidelines and that his behavior was not a “one-off or a fleeting error of judgment.

“Boyer’s offending lasted for at least 18 months and involved dozens of victim accounts and numerous acts of planned misconduct,” prosecutors wrote. “Boyer didn’t just exercise bad judgment on one day, or in a limited number of instances. He violated the law repeatedly for a protracted period of time.”


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