A Florida man was charged with hacking into the emails of dozens of people, including Christina Aguilera (photo), Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, in a computer invasion scheme that targeted Hollywood celebrities, according to documents released Wednesday. Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville hacked Google, Apple and Yahoo email accounts beginning last November and December, then hijacked the forwarding feature so that a copy of every email received was sent, “virtually instantaneously,” to an email account he controlled, according to an indictment handed up Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. There were more than 50 victims, including actress Renee Olstead, according to the indictment. The arrest involved Operation Hackerazzi, a yearlong FBI investigation of computer hacking that targeted Hollywood celebrities. Celebrities and people in the news have long been targets of privacy invasion but concerns have redoubled in the Internet age. Nude shots of Johansson appeared on an Internet site earlier this year and TMZ.com reported that hackers stole them from her cellphone. … The defense for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death surprised prosecutors and a judge on Wednesday, dropping a key claim that the singer swallowed a fatal dose of an anesthetic while the physician wasn’t looking. Dr. Conrad Murray’s attorneys have for months suggested that Jackson could have swallowed propofol, which is normally given through an IV drop in hospital settings. Without jurors in the courtroom, attorney J. Michael Flanagan said he commissioned a study about the effects of propofol if swallowed, mainly to counter one by a key prosecution expert that it would have been negligible. Flanagan said the defense study confirmed that the effect would be “trivial.”
Names in the news, Oct. 13
Posted Oct. 12, 2011, at 9:40 p.m.