LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2012 (AFP) – A computer hacker will plead guilty to breaking into the email accounts of stars including Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, his lawyer said Thursday, ahead of a court hearing on the proposed deal.
Florida hacker Christopher Chaney, 35, will admit the charges in court in Los Angeles next Monday, his lawyer Christopher Chestnut told AFP, giving no further details.
Chaney could be jailed for up to 60 years, media reports say, although that is much less than the 121 years he could face if convicted on all 26 indictments he has been charged with.
His arrest by FBI agents last October grew out of an 11-month investigation into the hacking of over 50 entertainment celebrities, including Johansson, Kunis and Christina Aguilera.
The indictments against him include accessing and damaging computers, wire tapping and identify theft. He was freed on bail in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives, pending the LA court case.
Aguilera’s computer was hacked in December 2010, when racy photos of her also hit the Internet. Kunis’s cell phone was hacked in September that year with photos of her, including one in a bathtub, spread online.
Hacked pictures of Johansson, star of “The Horse Whisperer” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” showed her in a state of undress in a home setting.
The FBI alleges that Chaney used open-source, public information to try to guess a celebrity’s email password, and then would breach the account.
He then allegedly communicated directly with contacts found in the hacked email account’s address list and searched the account for photos, information and other data.
To control the account, Chaney is alleged to have altered the email’s account settings to go to a separate, unrelated e-mail address that he controlled.
After gaining complete access to the hacked account, Chaney then used the contact list to “harvest” new targets, according to the FBI.
Article source: http://www.mysinchew.com/node/71674?tid=37
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