'Hackerazzi' Was Just Really Good at Guessing Celebrities' Passwords
It turns out the man who allegedly hacked into the e-mail accounts of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and leaked nude photos relied less on technical prowess and more on tabloid fare to commit his crimes.
FBI officials said that by reading tabloids and keeping up with celebrities' Twitter and Facebook feeds, Christopher Chaney, 35, was able to guess the passwords of celebrities, the Los Angeles Times reports. Once he was in, he was able to have all of their e-mails forwarded on to him — even if they changed their passwords.
Some had speculated that this hacker wanted to blackmail stars like a plot Raymond Chandler novel, but at a press conference today the FBI said Chaney didn't do it for money, fame or control over celebrities. He never even tried to reach out to his victims. Perhaps his motivation was much more 21st-century — perhaps he did it for the lulz.
Chaney was arrested this week in Jacksonville, Florida on hacking charges. He could face up 121 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.