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GQ Profiles Bored, Depressed Hollywood Hacker

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The Hollywood Hacker, the guy behind the leaked nude photos of Scarlett Johansson, wreaked havoc on a number of celebrity's lives. But in a profile in GQ, Chris Chaney is portrayed not as a malicious villain but as some dude -- a kind of sad dude -- who was depressed and bored and living in his grandmother's house when he realized that he could guess (guess) actors' email passwords, and live vicariously in a world far more interesting than his own.

The profile is written by David Kushner, and Chaney, who lives in Florida, is described thusly:

In the beginning at least, he was just a 33-year-old loner looking for something to do. Two years unemployed, he lived in a rundown brick house in a middle-class neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, where the streets are named for fairy tales: Cinderella Road, Peter Pan Place. He'd spent his entire life in this same area, had never flown on a plane or traveled beyond the occasional trip to see family in Iowa or Alabama... One night in early 2008, while his grandma slept, the balding, 290-pound Chaney was idly surfing movie sites like Ain't It Cool News when he stumbled on the latest celebrity scandal.

The writer goes on to tell the well-known tale: Chaney guessed celebrities passwords, and then, using highly available public websites like IMDB and Classmates,com, guessed the answers to their password security questions.

Not exactly the stuff of thrilling Anonymous protests of high-tech government infiltrations.

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We all know how the story ends -- Chaney becomes a celebrity himself, although for all the wrong reasons. But more than a peek into the workings of a hacking mastermind (Chaney is no such thing), the profile provides a bleak view into what's really going on in basements across America as we become increasingly infatuated with the myth of Hollywood, and distanced from our own reality.