What Does Hackerazzi Mean?

Hackerazzi is a slang term used to refer to cybercriminals who hack into celebrity email accounts to gain access to their personal information. This term is derived from the term paparazzi, which refers to the aggressive photojournalists who often intrude on celebrities’ privacy and make a living by selling candid photos of famous people.


Techopedia Explains Hackerazzi

The term hackerazzi may have been coined by the press as a result of a year-long FBI investigation into a man accused of hacking into email accounts belonging to more than 50 celebrities by guessing their passwords. Actress Scarlett Johansson became the most publicized victim of the attack, which resulted in the circulation of nude photos of the actress over the Internet.

According to news reports, Florida man Christopher Chaney was indicted on charges of email hacking in October 2011. FBI agents say that Chaney gained access to the accounts by using publicly available information to study the celebrities. This allowed him to successfully guess their passwords. Chaney is also alleged to have distributed some of the files and photos he obtained to the celebrity press.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.