The FBI has made an arrest in connection with the case of a hacker who allegedly weaseled his way into the webcams of teenagers and women on several continents and forced them to strip for him, extorting them with the threat of leaking nude pictures he’d taken while they weren’t suspecting, the New York Post reports.
One of the victims was Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf, 19. From the Post:
“Last month, Wolf told the website of NBC’s “Today” show that earlier this year she received an anonymous email in which the sender claimed to have stolen images from the camera on her home computer.
“The sender of the email threatened to go public with images captured from Wolf’s webcam unless she would provide nude pictures of herself, [FBI spokeswoman Laura] Eimiller said — a crime commonly known as ‘sextortion.'”
Sextortion? We could probably do without the punny portmanteau under these circumstances, but sure. The same hacker also allegedly went after an Irish teen, telling her, “I do NOT have a heart … Age doesn’t mean a thing to me!!!” The sick pup also victimized women in Southern California, Baltimore and Russia, the Post reports.
Jared James Abrahams of Temecula, Calif., is facing charges of extortion that could send him to federal prison for up to two years in connection with the incident, the Post reports. He’s been freed on $50,000 bail but he’s not allowed to leave his family home, and can “only use the home computer for schoolwork, with software to be installed that will monitor its use.” That’s right, schoolwork, because he’s 19 years old.
An FBI affidavit says he remotely operated the webcams of at least seven women as they changed clothes–“some of whom he knew personally and others he found by hacking Facebook pages,” the Post reports. Also, he “acknowledged controlling 30 to 40 computers and extorting some women.”
The Post says Mr. Abrahams is a computer science major. Maybe one day he will use those powers for good?