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Woman Confesses Stealing Privacy of Linkin Park Singer in Cyber Space

A former employee of Sandia National Laboratories appearing in federal court pleaded guilty to hacking inside a Yahoo server in attempts to stalk Chester Bennington, lead singer of the Linkin Park band that was winner of a Grammy award, as reported by Informationweek.com in news on July 5, 2007.

Devon Lynn Townsend, belonging to Albuquerque, N.M. admitted that she gained unauthorized access to the Yahoo server for performing certain taboo things. After managing to get Bennington's e-mail id, Townsend surreptitiously altered the password of Bennington's personal e-mail account through the hacked server, so that she could access incoming and outgoing messages to and from there, explained the criminal complaint.

Townsend confessed at court in the end week of June 2007 of stalking, illegally accessing communication database, and unlawfully trafficking recordings of live musical programs. Townsend faces a sentence to federal prison for a maximum of five years, and $250,000 in fine on each count of offense.

With the hack, the Bennington fan managed to view her idol's family photos, track his travel schedules, and sneak into his business e-mails all through January-November 2006. She also illegally tracked the couple's mobile phone communications via the Internet. In one instance Townsend even threatened Talinda Bennington over phone.

When Chester Bennington was in Arizona, once Townsend traveled to the place only to try and see him, admitted Townsend, reports BBC, and Informationweek.com published this in news on July 5, 2007.

Following the arrest of Townsend, investigators raided her home and found her photos with Bennington along with Linkin Park's memorabilia.

Townsend also constructed two new e-mail accounts on Yahoo, according to the criminal complaint, in order to send unsigned messages to Talinda Bennington and friends of the family. In another threatening she said she had enough private information about the Bennington family that she would disclose publicly.

To take Bennington's wife by surprise, Townsend e-mailed her a hyperlink to a site that carried an article on cyber stalking. Townsend trafficked audiovisual excerpts of a live Linkin Park concert held in 2004. The law enforcement officials seized hundreds of CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes of the concert recordings from Townsend's residence.

Related article: Woman Lying As Pregnant, Frauds Adoptive Couples

» SPAMfighter News - 7/18/2007

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