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Chris Chaney pleads guilty to hacking over 50 celebrities' smartphones for fun and profit

Between November 2010 and October 2011, there were a rash of hacking of high-profile celebrities smartphones.  Starlets like Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis had sexually explicit or provocative pictures stolen from their devices and released onto the internet.

In Scarlett Johansson's case fully nude pictures, meant to be seen by then-husband Ryan Reynolds were exposed for the world to see.  She recalls, "I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed."

But intrusions weren't the work of a team of savvy hackers; they were the twisted hobby-horse of a single man, according to federal prosecutors -- Christopher Chaney, a 35-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. resident.

On Monday, justice was served and U.S. District Judge S. James Otero weighed a seemingly remorseful Mr. Chaney versus tearful celebrities like Ms. Johansson, who comments, "I find Christopher Chaney's actions to be perverted and reprehensible."

The federal judge gave the hacker a prison sentence of 10 years after pleading guilty of several criminal counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (18 USC § 1030) -- unauthorized access to a computer and illegal wiretapping.  (In the U.S. only federal agents are allowed to wiretap people.)

Mr. Chaney could have faced a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, but the sentence he did receive wasn't exactly lenient either.  Prosecutors were only seeking a sentence of 6 years, but Judge Otero was concerned that Mr. Chaney hadn't truly changed his ways and needed longer away from the world of electronics.  According to the Judge, prosecutors presented evidence that Mr. Chaney continued to pursue and harass women online after his arrest in October 2011.

In all, Mr. Chaney's "Operation Hackerazzi" breached the smartphones of 50 Hollywood and music industry celebrities.  But he was also alleged of hacking into some close acquaintances phones, including send a nude picture of a former co-worker to her father.

Chris Chaney
Chris Chaney claims he sorry for all the hacking and denies accusations that he hacked into real-world acquaintances' devices. [Image Source: AP]

Mr. Chaney does not deny hacking the celebrity phones, but was apologetic.  He, however, refused to admit to hacking his acquaintances phones, insisting he never did that.  He comments, "I don't know what else to say other than I'm sorry.  I could be sentenced to never use a computer again and I wouldn't care."

The Judge is quoted as telling him, "It's hard to fathom the mindset of a person who would accomplish all of this.  These types of crimes are as pernicious and serious as physical stalking."

Now he will spend a better part of the next decade of his life behind bars (although he could get out early if gets parole).

Source: AP on Google News



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RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 4
Come on, if Reagen wasnt on that same list he would have been mysteriously assassinated like the Kennedy's were for not cooperating.


RE: Hopeless justice
By tng on 12/18/2012 11:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think that that method went out with Kennedy and the mess that that created.

The new method for taking care of a sitting POTUS is scandal... Do you really think that Nixon ordered the break ins at Watergate?


RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 12:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Good point. It may just be a last resort.


RE: Hopeless justice
By torpor on 12/18/2012 10:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they tried to get Reagan.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_assassinatio...

Ever hear of the Brady gun control bill? He was injured there, which brought about his POV.


RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/19/2012 12:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
I wass assuming Hinkley was just a nut. If they wanted him deaad he would have been... Unless of course it was just a warning... "Do what we tell you or next time you will wind up dead"

Scary.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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