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A young hacker from the Bahamas got his hands on scripts for the upcoming season of a hit television drama, along with videos of celebrities in compromising positions.
The man, Alonzo Knowles, 23, told an undercover investigator it was difficult to hack a high-profile celebrity directly. So instead, he looked through public photos for friends of the celebrity, and then hacked the friends’ accounts to find the celebrity’s personal information.
Then he sent the celebrities a fake text message that made it seem as though their account had been hacked. Some of the celebs wrote back with their password. When he gained access, he transmitted a virus that infiltrated their computer.
None of the victims were named in a recently released criminal complaint against Knowles.
The scheme began to unravel when a radio host, whom Knowles contacted as a potential buyer, reached out to the executive producer of the drama series that had been fleeced. Network representatives then approached Department of Homeland Security investigators, who had the radio host arrange a call between Knowles and an undercover agent.
On Dec. 21, Knowles tried to sell an agent 15 scripts for $80,000, and also provided the Social Security numbers of three professional athletes and a movie actress.
Among other items Knowles offered to sell were scripts for three…