Belfast Telegraph

Man admits hacking stars' emails

A man has pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to charges he hacked into the email accounts of such celebrities as Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson, whose nude photos eventually landed on the internet.

Christopher Chaney entered his plea to nine counts, including phone tapping.

Prosecutors say Chaney illegally accessed the email accounts of Aguilera, Mila Kunis and Johansson. Nude photos Johansson had taken of herself were later posted on the internet.

Authorities say Chaney forwarded celebrity photographs to two gossip websites and another hacker, but there wasn't any evidence that he profited from his scheme. He has since apologised.

Chaney was immediately taken into custody. He will be sentenced on July 23.

Chaney was arrested in October as part of a year-long investigation of celebrity hacking that authorities dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi".

Prosecutors said Chaney illegally accessed the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry.

Aguilera also had private photos put online, court documents show.

Johansson told Vanity Fair for its December issue that the photos were meant for Ryan Reynolds, now her ex-husband.

Chaney mined through publicly available data to figure out password and security questions for celebrity accounts. He also hijacked a forwarding feature so a copy of every email a celebrity received was sent to an account he controlled, according to court documents.

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