This week the Ministry of internal security of the United States (Department of Homeland Security, DHS) announced the arrest of a 23-year-old Alonzo Knowles, a native of the Bahamas, suspected of involvement in the hacking of computers and mobile phones of celebrities to steal their private photos and videos.
The name of the detainee was allowed for publication after the accusations against him in an illegal invasion of privacy and stealing of intimate materials for the purpose of profit.
Alonzo Knowles was detained December 21, after he tried to sell an undercover agent, posing as an interested buyer of 15 «originals» photos of Nude celebrities at 80 thousand dollars. In the dialogue with the buyer, proving their awareness, Knowles called the social security numbers of three famous athletes and actress, writes New York Times.
December 22, Alonzo Knowles was taken to the court of Manhattan, which extended the arrest of the suspect.
Many commentators of the American media, which publishes this information, and bloggers are expressing doubt that the police actually managed to catch the hacker, nicknamed «the Fappening», called journalists «hackerati» who penetrated into the electronic structure of stars and stole their intimate materials. Currently, DHS does not publish sufficient information that would allow to unequivocally say that «hackerati» caught. It is not excluded that arrested only one of the accomplices of the hacker «Fappening» or another seller, one way or the other received the original material from his base.
Recall that in December 2012, the 36-year-old Christopher Chaney from Jacksonville (FL), who pleaded guilty to burglary for breaking into computers of celebrities and stealing their intimate photos, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and payment of compensation in the amount of 70 thousand dollars. His victims were such well-known Actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Mila kunis and singer Christina Aguilera, and many others. In total, Chaney broke into the computers of at least 50 people. During the investigation it became clear that Christopher Chaney in essence is not a hacker, that is specialist in cracking computer security systems. For penetration into emails of celebrities he acted in a primitive way: I know the e-mail address (usually through a blog star), tried to go to the mailbox as «the owner, who forgot the password», the password was asked and answered the «secret question» (the answers to these standard questions like «mother’s maiden name, name of your first teacher, your school nickname,» etc., he found on the Internet). For him, it turned into an exciting game, the final of which were the arrest, court and prison. Cheney admitted his guilt.
At the end of August 2014 in the open access on the Internet was posted by the archive with graphical and video files «101 celebrity naked». Responsible for the theft of private data files assumed someone named «OriginalGuy», claiming that he acted a group of hackers. Later published several such records, and is responsible for break-ins was called a hacker named «Fappening».
Soon, the network has spread information about that hacking accounts of stars can stand 27-year-old geek Brian Hamada who tried to sell the intimate archive of stolen materials. But Brian denied that has to do with the hacking, although he was forced to admit «stupid» attempt to capitalize on this story.
In total, free access to more than 1,000 intimate photos of dozens of Actresses, singers, models, athletes. But it was clear that a significant part of the victim has not yet been published, and the hackers are looking for serious buyers.
Among the victims was one of the most highly paid Actresses in Hollywood Jennifer Lawrence, recognized in 2014 as the sexiest woman of planet by the magazine FHM; model Kate Upton – one of the TOP 5 highest paid models in the world; actress and singer Selena Gomez; actress and singer Ariana Grande, actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens, actress and singer Lea Michele sarfati; actress and singer Hillary Duff; actress Kirsten dunst; actress and model Victoria justice, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead; actress Aubrey Plaza; actress cat deeley; football player hope Solo and many other celebrities. Called also the names of TV stars Kim Kardashian and singer Rihanna, but in an accessible archive of their photos was not.
Most of the photos and videos distributed through a network of collection were frankly erotic or even pornographic nature. The authenticity of most of them did not cause doubts. Some of the victims, including Jennifer Lawrence, have confirmed that they have become victims of hackers.