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Miley Cyrus hacker in MySpace spam ringtone scam

TrainReq invites surfers to vote on own punishment

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A teenager already suspected of breaking into the Gmail account of actress Miley Cyrus and swiping candid pictures also hacked into MySpace profiles of other celebrities.

Suspected hacker Josh Holly, 19, also allegedly broke into the online accounts of music stars including Rihanna, Chris Brown, Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy, Wired reports.

According to an affidavit by FBI investigators obtained by NewsChannel 5, Holly (aka Trainreq) used access to the compromised accounts to spam fans with messages punting ringtones. The scam grossed an estimated $110,000 in advertising affiliate fees between November 2007 and July 2008. Holly claims he split the income with an Israeli accomplice.

The duo obtained access to MySpace's administrative panel using social engineering trickery on a MySpace worker before resetting account passwords for around 20 MySpace users including famous musicians.

Holly was arrested by the FBI in October following a raid on his home in Tennessee but is yet to be charged. Investigators are apparently awaiting the results of a computer forensics investigation. More details about the accusations against Holly can be found in a newly-released affidavit here (pdf).

While the investigation storm swirls about him, Holly is getting on with the business of running his Trainreq website, seemingly enjoying his new found notoriety. Demonstrating considerable chutzpah, Holly is running an online poll inviting visitors to the site to vote on what punishment they'd like him to receive.

Options include "Free TrainReq", "Lock him up and throw away the key" and "Give him probation, I am pissed he hacked miley. But don't be too harsh". ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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