A 21-year-old New Jersey woman has been charged with hacking into the email accounts of pop star and actress Selena Gomez, stealing her personal photos, and then leaked them to the Internet.
Susan Atrach of Ridgefield Park was charged Thursday with 11 felony counts—five counts of identity theft, five counts of accessing and using computer data to commit fraud or illegally obtain money, property or data, and one count of accessing computer data without permission.
According to the prosecutors, Atrach allegedly hacked into email accounts belonging to Gomez and one of her associates several times between June 2015 and February 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said in a press release.
She then obtained images and other media stored there and shared them with her friends and posted them online.
Gomez, who has more than 138 million followers on Instagram, was the victim of a hacking attack in August 2017, when nude photographs of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber were posted to her Instagram account.
However, it is not immediately clear if those photos were also the subject of the criminal charges against Atrach.
According to LA Times, Atrach believed to have broken into Apple iCloud and Yahoo email accounts used by Gomez and her personal assistant, by using the publicly-available information to answer the singer's "secret questions." She then reportedly stole digital information, including nude photos of Justin Bieber that were taken as Gomez and Bieber vacationed in Bora Bora in 2015, and made them online.
Atrach is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court by August 27. If convicted, Atrach could face up to nine years and eight months in prison.
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