The Man who hacked Hollywood

GQ hat die Story von Chris Chaney, der letztes Jahr mit den Handyfotos von Scarlett Johannsons Arsch weltbekannt wurde. Der Artikel erzählt die Geschichte von Chaney und erklärt auch, wie er an die Logins von hunderten Promis gekommen ist: Klassische Brute Force-Methode. Der Mann hatte viel Zeit und hat ganz einfach die Namen von Celebrities in Gmails Login-Field ausprobiert. Hat einer funktioniert besorgte er sich das Passwort über die Sicherheitsfragen (Geburtsort der Mutter, Name des Hundes etc.) und die Antworten dazu bekam er aus der IMDB.

Chaney wasn't a hacker; he didn't even own a computer until his late twenties and couldn't write a lick of code. But he'd always loved solving puzzles—completing crosswords, shouting out answers to Jeopardy! This was a tantalizing new riddle: "I was like, 'How hard could this be if it's happening all the time?' "

What Chaney lacked in technical skills, he made up for in effort. Finding a working e-mail address was a simple process of trial and error. In a Word document, he made a list of random celebrities and, one by one, entered them into Gmail—first name followed by last—until, days later, an address was finally accepted. (In the blur of celebs to follow, he wouldn't be able to recall his first.) Unlocking the account, he knew, would be more difficult. To retrieve a lost password, sites often ask subscribers so-called challenge questions: What's your mother's maiden name? What's your place of birth? Or, in the case of this celebrity, what's your pet's name? It was widely known that the hacker who broke into Paris Hilton's phone had done it with her Chihuahua's name, Tinkerbell. If her dog's name was easily available online, so too, Chaney figured, were other clues.

Chaney found what he was looking for on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). After punching in the pet's name, he watched in awe as the star's private e-mails poured down his smudgy PC screen.

The Man Who Hacked Hollywood (via The Verge)