39-year-old Adi Lederman was sentenced to 14 months in prison after hacking into computers to steal Madonna’s latest songs before the official release, according to news reports.
The Israeli-born aspiring singer–turned-hacker admitted to breaking into email servers used by Kevin Antunes and Guy Oseary – Madonna’s musical director and talent manager, respectively. From there, he stole passwords to cloud-based accounts where the songs were stored.
Two tracks from Madonna’s latest album, Rebel Heart, were sold for $300 each, before the official release, in March 2015.
Voted off an Israeli TV talent show, Lederman was found guilty of computer trespassing, fraud and intellectual property offenses against the superstar. Lederman was also fined NIS 15,000 by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
“The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message,” the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court said, according to The Telegraph.
How Lederman managed to access the email accounts remains unknown. But this is a reminder to secure online accounts with strong passwords and two-factor authentication mechanisms.
It remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience,” Madonna said of the experience when the hacker was arrested in February 2015.