FBI Indicts Hacker Who Leaked Photos of Christina Aguilera + More Celebs
The FBI have arrested the hacker who has been leaking risque photos of celebrities, including songstress Christina Aguilera and actresses Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson. Christopher Chaney, 35, has been detained by federal agents and the man has been charged with 26 counts of computer hacking, aggravated identity theft and wiretapping (according to The Hollywood Gossip).
Chaney was arrested in Jacksonville, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 for hacking into celebrities’ e-mail accounts from Nov. 13, 2010, to Feb. 10, 2011, leaking private emails, messages and pictures, including some nude photos. According to the L.A. Times, Chaney not only targeted Aguilera, Kunis and Johansson, but also ‘The Secret Life of an American Teenager’ star Renee Olstead.
The L.A. Times is also reporting that Chaney “allegedly used the information from those he initially hacked to gain access to their celebrity friends’ accounts … In total, he accessed more than 50 victims’ accounts” according to the FBI indictment.
Chaney spoke out after he was arrested, pretty much admitting to hacking the accounts and apologizing for his actions. He also explained how and why he hacked the email accounts, saying, “It started as curiosity and it turned to just being addictive. Seeing the behind-the-scenes of what’s going on with the people you see on the big screen.”
The L.A. Times said that Chaney “looked for potential passwords that would give him access to their accounts, the FBI said … The name of a dog. A favorite movie. An old address. A sibling’s nickname.” After he gained access, Chaney would use “email forwarding program that automatically duplicated any messages the stars received into his account. So even when the celebrities changed their passwords, he would know about it.”
“I was almost relieved when they came in and took the computers inside … I deeply apologize,” Chaney said in a statement. “I know what I did was probably the worst invasion of privacy someone could experience. I’m not trying to escape what I did. It was wrong. And I have to just face that and go forward.”
The FBI investigated what they have dubbed ‘Operation Hackerazzi’ for more than 11 months before they were led to Chaney. If he is found guilty of all 26 charges, Chaney could face up to 121 years in prison.