Brandon B. Boyer, a 34-year-old resident of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to unlawfully accessing protected computers, specifically the Snapchat accounts of dozens of adult women, Your Content has learned.
According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Boyer hacked into these accounts to obtain and sell explicit photographs between February 2020 and February 2022. The case was heard by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The charges brought against Boyer include allegations that he was paid by “clients” to break into the Snapchat accounts of the victims and obtain explicit photographs. The hacking was primarily accomplished through a phishing technique, wherein Boyer posed as a Snapchat representative and coaxed victims into changing their passwords and sending verification codes.
Boyer then accessed the accounts using the information provided. The criminal Information indicates that Boyer agreed that the financial loss caused due to his actions ranges from $40,000 to $95,000.
U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam stated, “For a two-year period, Boyer unlawfully accessed the computers of dozens of adult female victims with the explicit aim to exploit them financially. This is a serious violation of privacy, and we are committed to holding those responsible accountable.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division was responsible for investigating the case, which is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John. Under federal law, the maximum penalty for the offense to which Boyer has pleaded guilty is five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release, and a fine.
The actual sentence will be decided by the Judge after considering applicable federal sentencing guidelines and statutes.
The case marks another instance of privacy violations facilitated by digital platforms and raises concerns about the security measures in place to protect users’ data. As Boyer awaits his sentencing, questions remain about how platforms like Snapchat can enhance security to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The court will consider various factors, including the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, to determine Boyer’s penalty.