Following an 11-month-long FBI investigation termed “Operation Hackerazzi,” a Florida man named Christopher Chaney has been arrested and charged with 26 counts of computer hacking, aggravated identity theft and wiretapping. I really thought it was going to be a horny teenager living in his parents’ basement, but I’ll take it.
The lengthy indictment, which can be viewed here, described his M.O. thusly: using various hacker-y means, Chaney obtained access to celebrities’ email accounts. He then set up forwarding such that each time the celebrity in question got an email, a copy was sent to his own account as well. He then distributed anything juicy he found to various gossip websites, not for any money, but for the sheer thrill of it all. Or, in Internerd-speak: he did it for the lulz. I hope he enjoyed those lulz thoroughly, because in exchange for the privilege of seeing Justin Timberlake with Mila Kunis‘ underwear on his head, he could face up to 102 years in prison.
Most celebrity victims are not named in the indictment, but some are, along with their service providers, and one detail strikes me. While most of the hacked celebs used Apple or Google as their digital mail carriers, Ms. Johansson used Yahoo. For some reason I find that incredibly endearing.
(Via The LA Times)