Scarlett Johansson's hacker is said to have acted alone, but is that possible? Is it really that easy to hack a celeb's personal info?
—Yankee via the inbox
You speak of Christopher Chaney, the hacking suspect who now says he's real, real sorry for showing Scarlett Johansson's nekkidness to the grubby masses like he did. According to hacking experts, one doesn't need to be Kevin Mitnick these days to access forbidden fun bags.
In fact you can hack a star right at home! Not that you should, but if you wanted to, you know, do this theoretically, it would go like this:
1. Google [star name here].
2. Glean [his/her] personal details—name of dog, name of fun bags, et cetera.
3. Use that information to figure out their passwords.
4. Use those passwords to access mobile or email accounts.
You know: theoretically. And one single solo acting-alone person could do that.
Our own E! News team has learned that Chaney was able to infiltrate stars' Yahoo, Gmail and Apple accounts (Mila Kunis, ScarJo, and others) by using clues gleaned from their lives and social media sites to access their passwords.
But even if Chaney hadn't done that, experts tell me that Johannson and her fellow celebrities are vulnerable in countless other ways. And, yes, that means that you, too, are open to a hacking if you like to take pics of your babylons and then send them to folk.
According to Ben Schorr of the tech consultancy Roland Schorr & Tower, other inroads to private data might include: getting a star to click on a malicious link on a website or in an e-mail; tricking her with a Trojan Horse app; or accessing the account information of anyone lucky enough to have been sent nekkin photos from a star herself. Even repair folks can't be trusted by stars these days, Schorr insists to me.
So is it inevitable that we'll see more illicit celebri-boobies in the near future, given how seemingly easy it is to break into a celeb's personal account? Kevin Haley, a spokesman for Norton by Symantec, says, "it could happen to any of us, because we put up a lot of personal information on the Web.
"I would hope that this is a warning sign for people to take these things seriously, but we'll continue to see these cases."
In other words, celebrities! Change the name of your pets! Or just stop taking photos of yourselves naked! One or the other, you choose.