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FBI arrests man for hacking Hollywood stars

[TALK OF THE TOWN: INTERNATIONAL]

Oct 14,2011
LOS ANGELES - The FBI arrested a Florida computer hacker Wednesday for allegedly hacking into the computers of Hollywood stars including Scarlett Johansson and Christina Aguilera, the agency said.

Christopher Chaney, 35, was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida, as a result of an 11-month investigation into hacking of over 50 celebrity victims also including the actress Mila Kunis, the FBI said in a statement.

Aguilera’s computer was hacked last December, when racy photos of her also hit the Internet. Kunis’ cell phone was hacked in September with photos of her, including one in a bathtub, spread online.

Steven Martinez, in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, called Chaney’s alleged actions a new form of “hackerazzi,” a play on the word paparazzi.

“Celebrity information is highly marketable,” Martinez said at a press conference in Los Angeles.

“While the case against Mr. Chaney involves celebrities who were targeted because of their fame, this case reminds us that we are all potential victims of computer hackers,” added U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr.

The FBI statement’s victim list included Kunis, Aguilera, Johansson plus victims only identified by their initials. These included J.A. - the TMZ Web site reported that actress Jessica Alba was among the victims.

When asked if initials, B.P. were for Brad Pitt, Birotte, replied, “I can’t comment. Nice try, though.”

Chaney faces up to 121 years in prison if convicted on 26 indictments, including accessing and damaging computers, wiretapping and identify theft. He used three aliases to carry out the attacks.


AFP



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