11-03-2010, 08:27 PM #1
CA - FBI: Chilling Case of ‘Sextortion’ of 200+ vics, dozens were adolescent girls
Even if we and our children are being very safe, we're all potentially vulnerable!
Web of Victims -A Chilling Case of ‘Sextortion’
The hacker knew every move the unsuspecting victim made. He controlled her computer webcam and microphone. He could see her in her bedroom, hear her conversations, knew every keystroke she made online. And he threatened to expose her secrets unless she bowed to his demands.
It may sound like the plot for a scary teen movie, but it actually happened, and there wasn’t just one victim—there were more than 200, and dozens of them were adolescent girls.
Unlike many computer intrusions, where a hacker uses malicious software to steal identities or financial information, this case was primarily about spying and extortion—or as our Los Angeles cyber squad more aptly termed it, “sextortion.”
The hacker, a 31-year-old California man who was arrested in June after a two-year investigation, used malicious code to infect and control the computers of his victims. Then he searched for explicit pictures from their computers, downloaded them, and used the images in an attempt to extort more pictures and videos from them.
“What’s so frightening about this case was how easily the victims’ computers were compromised,” said Special Agent Jeff Kirkpatrick, one of our Los Angeles cyber investigators who worked the case.
After the hacker infected one computer, he used a popular social networking site—and a technique called “spear phishing”—to spread the virus. “It was a social engineering attack,” said Special Agent Tanith Rogers, co-investigator on the case. “The victims were tricked. They had no idea what had happened until it was too late.”
In several instances, the hacker posed online as a young woman’s friend or sister and sent messages with attachments asking if the victim wanted to see a scary video. Because the messages appeared to be from a trusted source, the victims usually didn’t think twice about opening the attachment. When they did, the virus secretly installed itself, and the hacker had total control over their computers—including all files and folders, webcams, and microphones.
11-03-2010, 11:28 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
Gee, Texas Mist, that made my whole....week. Yikes. If one person did this, are others? That is absolutely terrifying. It like the guy from Denmark who coerced and extorted the little girl times 200!!
You know the scariest sentence of all?
“And this guy was no computer genius,” Agent Kirkpatrick said. “Anybody could do what he did just by watching an online video and following the directions.”
I'm going to read all I can find. Wait until Filly reads this one.
Last edited by Missizzy; 11-03-2010 at 11:34 PM.
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