A man from the Bahamas accused of hacking into private emails of celebrities pleaded guilty on May 9 before a US District Judge and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, 2016. Alonzo Knowles, 24, was arrested in December of last year while trying to sell stolen movie scripts to an undercover agent, according to US Attorney Preet Bharara.
Knowles gained illegal access to the personal email accounts of personalities from the television, film, and sports industries and then stole scripts of movies and TV shows, some yet-unreleased, plus private photographs and videos, say authorities. He then tried to sell these for large amounts of money.
The defendant was apprehended when he sought to sell "exclusive content" worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to an undercover law enforcement agent after the authorities were tipped off to the activity. He claimed he was in possession of the email addresses and phone numbers of at least 130 celebrities.
Knowles' modus operandi for hacking into emails was either by sending malware or obtaining the password by sending a false hacking notification to the victim.
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