A Florida man accused of hacking into the email accounts of more than 50 celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and Mila Kunis, has pleaded guilty.
Christopher Chaney, 35, now faces up to 60 years in jail and £1.5million in fines and restitution after entering guilty pleas to unauthorized computer access, wiretapping and other felony charges.
He explained how he clicked on the ‘forgot password’ feature and then correctly answered the stars’ security questions to gain access to their email accounts. He then uploaded a bug which forwarded all incoming mail to him.
As a result, the clerical worker managed to get hold of nude photographs Scarlett took for then-husband Ryan Reynolds, as well as risqué snaps taken by Mila and Christina – all of which were leaked online.
He was finally caught after an 11-month FBI investigation dubbed “Operation Hackerazzi”, but pleaded not guilty in November 2011.
He was remanded in custody at yesterday’s (26.03.12) hearing in Los Angeles and will be sentenced on July 23.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, prosecuting attorney Andre Birotte Jr said the guilty pleas, "shine a bright light on the dark underworld of computer hacking."
He said: "This case demonstrates that everyone, even public figures, should take precautions to shield their personal information from the hackers that inhabit that dark underworld.”