Paris Hilton cell phone hacker conned his way into network
UPI News Service, 05/19/2005
The hackers who acquired nude photos of Paris Hilton from her cell phone used "social engineering" instead of technical wizardry, the Washington Post reports.
Citing sources in the hacking world, the newspaper says that the 16-year-old got access to celebrity accounts by convincing a T-Mobile employee to give him confidential information.
The hacker was part of a group who had stumbled on security glitch in T-Mobile Sidekicks when passwords are pre-programmed. But to gain access to the phone's memory, they needed the telephone numbers.
The teenager called a T-Mobile store in California posing as a manager and succeeded in getting the address of a password-protected Internet site used to manage T-Mobile accounts as well as the account name and password the store had been using.
The hackers decided to target Hilton because they knew she owned a Sidekick, although they also harassed actor Laurence Fishburne.
"As soon as I went into her camera and saw nudes my head went JACKPOT," the teenager told the Post.
While the teen and his friends succeeded in pulling off a high-profile stunt, they could be in legal trouble.