LOS ANGELES—A man accused of targeting the entertainment industry by hacking into the personal e-mail accounts of celebrities was arrested today after being charged with a range of cyber-related crimes, announced André Birotte Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles; and Steven Martinez, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Christopher Chaney, 35, of Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested this morning by FBI agents without incident. A federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned a sealed indictment yesterday charging Chaney with violations under Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code, including: accessing protected computers without authorization; damaging protected computers without authorization; wiretapping; and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed this morning, Chaney used several aliases while illegally obtaining personal information of numerous celebrities through a series of computer intrusions. The aliases used include: “trainreqsuckswhat,” “anonygrrl,” and “jaxjaguars911.”
Investigators believe that Chaney used publicly available sources to mine for data about his female and male victims, all of whom are associated with the entertainment industry. Once Chaney gained access and control of an e-mail account, he would obtain private information, such as e-mails and file attachments, according to the indictment. In addition, investigators believe that Chaney was led to new victims by accessing the address books of victims whose computers he already controlled.