One month after leaked nude photos of Scarlett Johansson hit the Internet, the man who hacked the starlet has been arrested. CNN.com reported that Florida native Christopher Chaney was taken into custody after it was discovered by authorities that he had gained access to the accounts of more than 50 people including Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.
The 35-year-old from Jacksonville was apprehended by the FBI on Wednesday and indicted on charges of accessing protected computers without authorization, damaging protected computers, wiretapping and aggravated identity theft.
Officials confirm that the Johansson nude photos were part of their investigation. "Unfortunately, [the suspect] was able to access nude photos of some of the celebrities and some of them were uploaded on the Internet," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said, adding that Chaney allegedly "also took financial information, movie scripts and conversations that the celebrities believed to be private."
The hacker allegedly monitored social media sites the celebrities used to gain access to their passwords. He then would use public sources to scout the data he was looking for. From there, he would use contact lists of the email addresses to which he gained access to find the email addresses of other celebrities, thereby making them victims of hacking too. He also allegedly had emails automatically forwarded to him so he could continue to receive victims' emails if the account holders changed their passwords.
"You may have selected a password that's meaningful to you that you may disclose online with friends," assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office Steven Martinez said. "Your pet's name or whatever. That's a clue to a hacker, to start there."
Cheney was released on $10,000 bail on Wednesday and was ordered not to use any devices with Internet access or be around alcohol or other controlled substances. His next court appearance is on Friday. If convicted of the 26 counts, he faces up to 121 years in prison.
Johansson opened up to CNN about the stolen photos, which were removed from the website that originally posted them, late last month. "Just because you're an actor or make films or whatever doesn't mean you're not entitled to your own personal privacy," she said. "If that is sieged in some way, it feels unjust. It feels wrong."