Operation Hackerazzi finally came to an end when notorious hacker Christopher Chaney was handed a 10-year prison sentence by a US District Judge. Chaney became famous after he was found to be the man behind hacks on the private email accounts of ‘dozens’ of celebrities and posting them online. Among the celebrities Chaney has targeted in the past include stars of movies and music such as Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson.
The judge seemed to be at a loss for words when handing out the sentence, commenting that he failed to understand why a person would so such a thing. He even compared Chaney’s actions to stalking. This is the reason why the federal law officials have named the investigation ‘Operation Hackerazzi’. The investigation had been going on for the best part of a year and celebrities can now be relieved that Chaney is behind bars for a decade.
In the beginning, Chaney had denied doing anything wrong and had entered a plea of not guilty. However, a plea deal was struck with him later on following which he admitted guilty to nine counts. The crimes he has been convicted for include wiretapping and identity theft. Also, the equipment used by Chaney to perform the hacks has been seized. Reports state that there are a number of cell phones, computers and disk drives in Chaney’s possession which he used.
Based on the laws pertaining to the nine counts he admitted his guilt to, Chaney could have been sent to prison for sixty years.
The prosecutors had been demanding imprisonment for him for six years. The judge’s decision rested on the fact that he did not think Chaney would mend his ways if given a chance hence the sentence is for 10 years. After being released, Chaney would be under supervised probation for three more years.
Chaney’s victims include over 50 celebrities. However, not many of them have stepped forward and admitted that their accounts were attacked by him. Only a few of them have agreed to let their name be used in relation to the case. Not only did Chaney obtain private files and documents from them, he also retrieved nude photos and posted them online. The most famous incident was when he posted Scarlett Johansson’s nude pictures which she had taken for her husband.
Since coming into the spotlight, Chaney has admitted that he used the ‘forgot your password’ feature on email accounts to hack into them. He would then answer the security questions and change the password on the email account. He also admitted that he had received thousands of emails after hacking into the various accounts which would otherwise have gone to the people they were intended for.
For now, Chaney sits behind bars and will be in prison for at least the best part of a decade. Surely the length of his sentence would be discussed, debated and questioned as the court of law has let off people convicted for more serious crimes lightly.