A man from Bahamas has been accused by Federal prosecutors of hacking around 130 accounts of celebrities.
Twenty three years-old, Alonzo Knowles from Freeport was arrested on Monday (December 21) after he allegedly boasted to undercover agents of possessing dossiers on at least 130 accounts of stars in entertainment, sport and the media. He also claimed to own a sex tape too.
After the arrest, he offered to sell the undercover agent about 15 TV and movie scripts for $80,000.
He was held without bail on criminal copyright infringement and identity theft charges after appearing in New York’s court.
Prosecutors told the court that Knowles owned an actor’s passport and the social security numbers for three professional athletes while gaining simultaneous access to unreleased tracks from a singer-songwriters upcoming album and an explicit video from a radio host’s email account.
Though the victims were not identified but prosecutor Kristy Greenberg told the judge that several people were traumatized by the theft of their personal information.
The investigation began earlier this month Department of Homeland Security investigators was contacted by a popular radio show’s executive producer when the host informed him of an offer received by someone selling scripts for the next season of a popular TV drama.
Authorities followed that offer to Knowles who called himself Jeff Moxey and claimed to have exclusive content worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Knowles claimed to hack into celebrity accounts by sending either a computer virus or a false warning that the target’s account had been compromised and using that information he changed the account’s email settings so that he could maintain ongoing access.
The case comes at a time when security is a sensitive subject in Hollywood.
Hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment computers last year and released a number of emails, documents, Social Security numbers and other personal information.
Last year, hackers also broke into female celebrities’ personal Apple accounts, stole nude photos and posted them on the web.
Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were among the victims.