A woman is accused of using a computer at a national laboratory to hack
into a cell phone company's Web site to get a number for Chester
Bennington, lead singer of the Grammy-winning rock group Linkin Park.
According to an affidavit filed by the Department of Defense Inspector
General, Devon Townsend, 27, obtained copies of Bennington's cell phone
bill, the phone numbers he called and digital pictures taken with the
Investigators said she also hacked into the e-mail of Bennington's wife,
Talinda Bennington, and at one point called her and threatened her.
Talinda Bennington told federal authorities last month that someone had
accessed their Verizon (nyse: VZ - news - people ) Wireless account
online, according to the affidavit, and expressed concern that a
"stalker" had access to personal information.
Townsend waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday in U.S.
District Court and was released to her mother's custody. She is accused
of using a computer at her former workplace, Sandia National
Laboratories, to access Bennington's cell phone information. Lab
spokesman Michael Padilla said Wednesday that she no longer worked
Townsend's attorney, Ray Twohig, said that investigators were still
analyzing his client's computer and that it remains to be seen what
exact violations will be alleged.
"This is the Internet version of a groupie hiding in Mick Jagger's
dressing room," Twohig said. "We're in a different age, and fans have
more skills than they used to."
Townsend's computer wasn't connected to classified data, Padilla said.
The affidavit says that during a search of Townsend's home in
Albuquerque, investigators found Linkin Park posters, autographed band
memorabilia, pictures of Townsend with Chester Bennington, bootlegged
Linkin Park music and copies of messages and photographs intercepted
from the Bennington family's e-mail accounts.
A person who answered the phone Friday at Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news
- people ) - Linkin Park's label is Warner Bros. Music - said no one
would be available to comment until Monday.
Sandia National Laboratories develop technology to support national
security, according to its Web site.
Linkin Park has sold more than 36 million records worldwide. In
February, Linkin Park and rapper Jay-Z shared a Grammy Award for best
rap/sung collaboration for "Numb/Encore." In 2001, the band won a Grammy
for best hard rock performance for "Crawling."
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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