Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hacker Who Stole IDs and Scripts From Celebrities Pleads Guilty; New York Times, 5/9/16

Benjamin Weiser, New York Times; Hacker Who Stole IDs and Scripts From Celebrities Pleads Guilty:
"Mr. Knowles said that it was difficult to go after “a high profile celebrity,” so he would begin by going after friends found in photographs with them. He would then hack the friends’ accounts to find the celebrities’ telephone numbers and other personal information.
“It boils down to the weakest link in the chain,” a former official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Austin P. Berglas, told The New York Times in December, after the charges were announced.
At one point, the complaint said, Mr. Knowles showed the undercover agent a list of names, with phone numbers or email addresses of about 130 celebrities.
Mr. Knowles, in court, apologized to the judge, Paul A. Engelmayer, and acknowledged that he knew his actions had been wrong and illegal.
He pleaded guilty to both of the counts charged in a federal indictment against him: criminal copyright infringement and identity theft.
He could face a total of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 25. The federal sentencing guidelines, which are only advisory, suggested a sentence of 27 to 33 months, according to the plea agreement in the case."

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