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Music by VICE

The Guy Who Leaked Madonna's 'Rebel Heart' Just Got Arrested

He has been identified as a former reality show contestant.

by VICE Thump
21 January 2015, 10:48pm

Remember when demos of songs from Madonna's upcoming Rebel Heart album got leaked last month? Remember how she called the theft to "artistic rape" and "a form of terrorism"? Compared to the graceful response of Björk—another pop star whose album was recently leaked way before its due date—Madonna's hissy fit came across as entirely out-of-touch. The blunder also revealed her growing social media problem. As Madonna scrambled to combat the leak by releasing six finished songs way ahead of schedule, it looks like her team's search for the alleged leaker (which even involved a call-to-arms by her manager on Twitter) landed some juicy results. 

Today, police in Tel Aviv arrested a 38-year-old local man in his home on suspicion of hacking into the computers of Madonna (and other celebrities) to steal their unreleased songs. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the suspect's computers and other evidence were confiscated.

Due to a gag order the alleged hacker's name has not been released yet, but local media have identified the man as a former reality show contestant from one of Israel's popular singing competition programs. 

The arrest follows a months-long investigation from the cybercrime unit of Israel's Lahav 433, an FBI-like organization. They started looking into the case after the Israeli representative of "an international recording artist" (no prizes for guessing who!) lodged a complaint. Tamir Afori, Madonna's attorney in Israel, told Haaretz that the stolen material also included "photos and other personal material," and had caused the pop star millions of dollars in professional and personal damage. 

The alleged hacker will be arraigned later today on charges of intellectual property theft and aggravated fraud. While we await news of his fate, we're anxiously sweating over one more possible outcome: the inevitable leak of Madonna nudes. 

@MichelleLhooq

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