Miley Cyrus hacker Josh Holly who cracked the email account of the “Hannah Montana” star and exposed several of her racy camera phone photos, has been arrested on unrelated charges involving hacked credit card numbers.
Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest surfaced Monday (Jan. 3) in Nashville papers and comes more than two years after the FBI raided the youth’s home in an investigation of the Cyrus hacking incident.
Although the charges are unrelated to the hacking incident, the FBI developed the information leading to Holly’s arrest from his personal computer, which they initially seized in the Miley Cyrus raid.
At the time, Holly bragged about his hacking skills and even published a Web site to share information with other hackers. He went by the name TrainReq.
In court documents, the FBI confirmed his boasts, saying that Holly was an accomplished spammer, who hacked a large number of Gmail and MySpace accounts, according to court documents and local reports.
Investigators allege the he had in his possession about 200 stolen credit card numbers, which were discovered during a forensic search of his home computer.
If convicted, he could face 10 years in jail and be fined up to $250,000.
He was arrested on last Thursday and released following his initial appearance in court Monday, Asst. U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester told reporters. He must appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 12.
Holly created an Internet sensation when he began posting the photos of Cyrus. They were published shortly after she appeared in a controversial semi-nude photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine.
Although the propriety of the magazine photos was widely questioned, Cyrus’s Christian good girl image emerged largely intact, until Holly started posting her private photos.
Miley allegedly took the photos herself with a camera phone and emailed them to her then-boyfriend, Joe Jonas.
In one photo, Cyrus poses in her underwear and in another she poses, clothed, in the shower.
Holly reportedly confessed to breaking into Cyrus’ MySpace account and to generating “significant revenue” from spamming on behalf of corporate clients, according to FBI documents.
As for Cyrus, she has more than lived up to the image portrayed in the photos. As she’s transitioned to an adult career, she has been involved in a number of sexually provocative episodes.
Most recently a video of her smoking a bong at a house party went viral on the Internet, and other private photos, reportedly from a lost or stolen cell phone also made it onto the Internet.