A man who bragged about hacking into Miley Cyrus‘ e-mail account and distributing revealing pictures (one being her infamous shower photo) of her has been arrested on unrelated charges, according to court documents.
Josh Holly, 21, was arrested Thursday in Nashville and charged with possession of unauthorized credit card account numbers after FBI agents reviewed evidence obtained when they searched his computer.
In an FBI affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court in Nashville, Agent Victor Rodriguez writes that Holly acknowledged hacking into Cyrus’ MySpace account. Court documents also said he bragged online and to the media about obtaining photos of Cyrus from her Gmail account in late 2007 and later posting them on a site frequented by hackers.
“Holly made numerous admissions during the interview,” Rodriguez writes in the affidavit dated January 2009. “He confirmed that he was the person who had obtained data from Miley Cyrus’ MySpace account without authorization.”
So far, he does not face charges relating to Cyrus, but the intrusion into her account was used by agents to obtain permission to search his seized computer equipment.
Holly was released on his own recognizance on Monday and has a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 12. No phone listing could be found for him or a relative appointed as his custodian. His attorney didn’t immediately return a message left late Tuesday.
Cyrus’ publicist had no comment on the arrest.
According to the affidavit, Holly said in media interviews and Internet postings that he first hacked Cyrus’ MySpace account around December 2007. He obtained a password from that account and used it to hack her Gmail account, where he obtained revealing photos of her that were subsequently widely distributed on the Internet.
Rodriguez writes that Holly told him he often hacked into the Internet accounts of celebrities to help with his job sending spam for commercial companies.
“He often used accounts belonging to celebrities because of the high volume of Internet traffic they attracted,” Rodriguez writes.
And he says a review of Holly’s bank records show he received payments of over $110,000 between Nov. 2007 and July 2008 from companies that paid him to send spam for them.
The affidavit said Rodriguez found approximately 200 credit card account numbers and related personal information on his computer, and he appears to have used at least some of them to make purchases over the Internet.
FBI spokesman Scott Augenbaum declined to say if Holly would face charges related to hacking Cyrus’ e-mail account. The charges Holly currently faces are felonies, while unauthorized access of an e-mail account is a less-serious misdemeanor.
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