The six demo tracks from 'Rebel Heart' were leaked in December
Israeli police have arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of hacking into Madonna’s computer and leaking her new album ‘Rebel Heart’.
The arrest was made following a month-long investigation by the cyber crime unit of Israel’s Lahav 433 branch (an organisation comparable to the FBI) and a private investigation firm.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a statement by Lahav 433 said that the suspect “broke into the personal computers of several international artists over the past few months and stole promotional final-cut singles which have yet to be released and traded them online for a fee”.
It added: “In light of the findings of the investigation the unit collaborated closely with the FBI, with suspicion of even more break-ins to computers owned by unknown international artists, stealing and selling their works.”
The private investigation firm involved in the case said it began investigating the hack after receiving a complaint from Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary, who had previously called the leak “devastating”. The Tel Aviv firm sent an agent to New York “to check the singer’s personal computer, confirming there was indeed a break-in from a computer in Israel”.
Although an official gag order has been issued on the suspect’s name, local media are reporting that the man is a former contestant on one of Israel’s most popular TV singing competitions.
Several songs from Madonna’s forthcoming new album were leaked in December, an incident Madonna called “artistic rape” and “a form of terrorism”. The leak led to the rush release of six songs from the album on iTunes days later. Earlier this week, the official tracklisting for the full album – which is released on March 9 – was revealed. It included details of song ‘Iconic’, a collaboration with Chance the Rapper and former professional boxer Mike Tyson.