Saturday, 28 April 2012

Hollywood Hacker Revealed His Secrets

The man responsible for leaking the now infamous nude photo of ‘Avengers Assemble’ star Scarlett Johansson  has spoken to GQ in an eye-opening interview that reveals just how easy it was.scarlett johansson hollywood hackers

Chris Chaney, 36, who had daily access to “over 50 celebrities”, is a self-confessed movie buff and accessed the accounts of stars like Mila Kunis and Ryan Reynolds not with high-tech hacking but simple guess work.

Leaked photo… Scarlett Johansson in ‘Avengers Assemble’ (Credit: Rex)
“You feel like you’ve seen something that the rest of the world wanted to see,” Mr Chaney told GQ. “But you’re the only one that’s seen it.”

“It’s the whole Star Trek thing – going where no man has gone before.”

Chaney was arrested by the FBI a few weeks after the Johansson picture hit the web back in October 2011. He pleaded guilty to nine counts, including wiretapping and unauthorised access to a computer. He currently faces a whopping 60 years in jail and £1.3million in fines.

His hobby began when leaked photos of Miley Cyrus hit the web in early 2008. “I was like, ‘How hard could this be if it’s happening all the time?’” he said.  Chaney’s methods weren’t at all technical though, rather an exercise in patience.

Noting them down in a Word document as he went, Chaney tried to guess the email addresses of the stars by simply using their names. It was days before his first success.

Upon this first triumph he requested a new password, answering questions like “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” and “What is your place of birth?” with a bit of simple research.

He found the answers to these questions on websites like the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), Classmates and Facebook. It was the name of his first victim’s pet that got him into the account and from those first emails he drew out the addresses of other celebs.

Soon he had access to the accounts of dozens of movie stars and he had to create special folders (organised by name) on his computer to keep track of hundreds of messages.

On his travels he found more than just skimpy photos. Details of films in production were commonplace and he said he learnt how a producer went to a strip club to find a body double for a certain actress.

He allegedly also saw negotiations of how much flesh Amanda Seyfried would show in the movie ‘In Time’, and reckons he saw evidence that some “leading men” had male partners.

Despite the prurient nature of the revelations, Chaney said his love of movies was what made him beginning hacking in the first place.

Described as a “die-hard film buff”, he originally wanted to find out how Hollywood location scouts worked, because it sounded like “one of the awesomest [jobs]“.

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