A Tel Aviv resident was arrested Wednesday on suspicions of hacking into the computer of none other than international music legend Madonna.
The 39-year-old Israeli, who was previously a star on a well-known Israeli reality show, is accused of stealing documents from Madonna's computer, reading her e-mail, and even stealing and distributing two songs that had not been released to the public - and charged money for copies of the music.
The culprit was arrested Wednesday after a months-long investigation by Unit 443 of the Israel Police, which investigates computer and data crime. Police said they used “advanced” technological means to find the hacker, after a complaint was filed with police several months ago by a private investigator, who had been hired by Madonna's Israeli producer, Guy Ozeri, to investigate the leak.
Israel Police cooperated with the FBI and uncovered the trail of activity that led to the culprit.
The culprit has been accused of releasing two Madonna songs, which apparently she had been preparing for later release. Madonna's managers quickly went on a social media campaign denying that she had released the songs, although many of her fans believed that the release was part of a publicity stunt. In December, another 11 songs, the balance of an album that she had been working on, were released as well – also, apparently, without her permission, although police have not yet linked the culprit with that leak.
In a statement, Ozeri said that he was “very grateful to the fans who helped us discover who was responsible for the leak.”