Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Pottsville Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Hacking Snapchat Accounts for Profit

A Pottsville man pled guilty in federal court this week for hacking dozens of Snapchat accounts for money.
Brandon B. Boyer, a 34-year-old resident of Pottsville, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a computer hacking offense involving the unauthorized access of protected computers. The announcement came from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and followed a hearing before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Boyer's criminal activities spanned a two-year period, from February 2020 to February 2022, during which he unlawfully infiltrated the computers of numerous adult female victims with the intent of procuring and subsequently selling their nude photographs. Boyer confessed to exploiting victims' Snapchat accounts at the behest of paying "clients" who sought to gain access to these private images.

Boyer's method involved the use of an application enabling him to send deceptive text messages to victims, masquerading as a representative of Snapchat. He employed a fraudulent technique known as "phishing" to manipulate victims into altering their passwords and forwarding him the generated verification codes, thereby granting him unrestricted access to their accounts.

Boyer admitted that the monetary loss resulting from his criminal conduct ranged between $40,000 and $95,000.

The investigation into this cybercrime was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division, and U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John is spearheading the prosecution.

Under federal law, the maximum penalty for this offense is five years of imprisonment, accompanied by a period of supervised release after incarceration, and a fine. The final sentencing decision will be determined by the presiding Judge, who will take into consideration the pertinent federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.