Scarlett Johansson Nude Photo Hacker Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
Federal law enforcement says that the punishment of a "Hackerazzi," convicted of illegally accessing the e-mail accounts of about 50 individuals, sends a message to deter computer intrusion.
Christopher Chaney, who pleaded guilty to hacking into the e-mail accounts of Scarlett Johansson and other celebrities, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Chaney, a Florida citizen, became infamous for distributing nude pics of Johansson and The Secret Life of the American Teenager actress Renee Olstead. He also hacked into the private accounts of other celebrities including Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.
At a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Court judge S. James Otero said that Chaney's conduct demonstrated a "callous disregard to the victims," some 50 in total, including two noncelebrities who the judge noted was stalked by Chaney for more than 10 years.
The prison term was accompanied by an order to pay $66,179 in restitution.
After Chaney copped guilty pleas to nine felony counts, including wiretapping and unauthorized access to protected computers, prosecutors recommended 71 months in prison and high financial penalties. The judge went harsher on prison time and lighter on monetary restitution.
In a press release announcing the verdict, law enforcement authorities warned that citizens need to do more to safeguard their identities and personal information from being stolen on the Internet.
"Mr. Chaney methodically targeted his victims based on their celebrity without regard for the law or the impact the theft of personal and intimate details would have to their lives," said Bill Lewis, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office. "This case illustrates the need for cybersecurity vigilance by computer users and, in addition, may serve as a deterrent for anyone contemplating similar intrusions."
After being caught, Chaney was boastful of his exploits.
Earlier this year, he told GQ Magazine that accessing stars' e-mails was "a rush" and that the distribution of private photos to gossip websites was done as "part bragging and part proving who I was to someone."