The Florida man arrested on hacking and wiretapping charges in connection with leaked photos of celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, faces up to 121 years in prison if convicted.
Christopher Chaney, a 35-year old man from Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested as the result of an investigation dubbed Operation Hackerazzi, according to federal authorities contacted by The Associated Press.
TMZ reported Wednesday afternoon that Chaney had been released from jail on a $10,000 bond, and was ordered to stay with his parents and avoid any activity on the Internet.
Late Wednesday morning, the FBI held a press conference announcing Chaney's arrest, and warning celebrities and mortals alike about the potential threat from other hackers on the lose.
One FBI official called technology hacking a disturbing and rising trend, adding that celebrity information is highly marketable. Nude photos of Scarlett Johansson were quickly picked up by blogs and celebrity Web sites when the photos were first leaked in September, but most sites removed them after Johansson's lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter.
Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, told The AP there was no indication Chaney had profited from the photos he obtained.
At Wednesday's press conference, FBI officials posted a visual aid titled The Anatomy of a Hack, which explained the steps a hacker takes to infiltrate personal accounts. Among these steps are using open source information to reset passwords, breaching an account and changing the password, communicating with contacts in the account holder's address book, and using the contact list to harvest new targets.
Cheney allegedly mined through publicly available data to figure out passwords and security information on his targets.
According to The AP, Chaney began hacking into Google, Apple and Yahoo email accounts November and December, then used the forwarding feature to ensure that every email received was sent, virtually instantaneously, to an email account he controlled, according to an indictment handed by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
Chaney allegedly used the hacker names trainreqsuckswhat, ''anonygrrl and jaxjaguars911.
In September, nude self-portraits of Johansson began making the rounds on Twitter and other Web sites. Shortly afterwards, an unidentified person sent an email to Perez Hilton, offering to sell compromising photos of Justin Timberlake that he sent to his Friends with Benefits costar Mila Kunis.
Johansson was outraged by the invasion of privacy, and enlisted the FBI to investigate.
An FBI spokesperson insisted that Chaney's was a singular arrest in the press conference Wednesday, but added that the FBI is following other leads.