An FBI probe has identified the Ohio man who entered Conde Nast’s computer system last year to obtain magazine pictures and publish them on his blog, reports The Smoking Gun. The 22 year-old graphic design student, named Ross Ulrich, confessed as the FBI executed a search warrant.
The breach sounded pretty simple:
Ulrich said he discovered via a Google search a list of compromised servers that had been posted online. This list of FTP addresses and related passwords allowed Ulrich to spend time “poking around,” he said, “without having to brute force anything.
Ulrich posted an early stolen image–a W cover with Demi Moore–to an invitation-only fashion chatroom, where it was quickly discovered and removed by Conde Nast. Ulrich then opted to post the hot jpegs on his own blog, FashionZag, including the entire December 2009 issue of GQ and images from Vogue, Lucky, and Teen Vogue.
An internal Conde Nast investigation led the police to an IP address owned by Ulrich’s father. Ulrich has agreed to pay Conde Nast $12,500 to settle a copyright suit.
Like James Kurisunkal and Jay Gatz before him, it’s always the young Midwestern men who fall hardest for New York’s glossy girls.