Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and other Hollywood stars who've had risqué photos stolen from their email accounts can rest a bit easier tonight.
In an FBI investigation dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi," a 35-year-old Florida man has been arrested and charged with breaking into the accounts of Johansson, Kunis, Christina Aguilera and several other people, both male and female, some of whom were identified only by their initials.
Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville, Fla., was charged with 26 federal counts pertaining to four separate crimes: unauthorized access to a protected computer, unauthorized damage to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft and wiretapping. He faces a maximum of 121 years in prison.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Chaney was able to access nude photos of some of the celebrities and some of them were uploaded on the Internet," U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. told reporters at a Los Angeles press conference today (Oct. 12).
Steven Martinez of the FBI's Los Angeles field office explained that Chaney's methods were simple. He used social networks and publicly available information about the stars to guess the answers to their email account's identity-verification questions — the fourth such case this year.
"It's simply that you may have selected a password that's meaningful to you that you may disclose online with friends," Martinez said, according to CNN. "Your pet's name or whatever. That's a clue to a hacker, to start there."
Reporters were left guessing who the unnamed celebrities might be. "J.A." could be Jessica Alba, rumored to be a victim of such an email break-in. The Washington Post reported that officials at the press conference would not confirm whether "B.P." stood for Brad Pitt.