Webcam Hacker Jailed for 4 Years for Spying on Teenager


Another one bites the dust, this time for spying on a teenage girl via webcam. 4 years is a reasonable sentence this time I think as the case borders on many offenses such as blackmail, indecent behaviour, infringement of privacy, unlawful access and probably a few more.

It was a pretty simple hack as it goes, a trojan and then straight forward access to the webcam – this case is the reason most security minded people cover their webcam with something just in case.

A 47-year-old computer technician has been jailed for four years after he hacked into a teenage girl’s webcam to spy on her.

The unnamed hacker used a Trojan horse virus to access the webcam remotely, which was passed on to the girl’s computer through an infected email.

Once he hacked into the webcam, he took images of her and threatened her with blackmail unless the teenager ‘posed’ indecently for him.

If he’d done it just for kicks and not tried to blackmail the poor girl he probably would have gotten away with it. Why do people have to be so greedy?

Human nature.

The news of the hacker comes from Sophos, the analysis centre for virus, spyware and spam, where the company reports that the man was arrested back in 2005, but has only been brought to justice this week.

Speaking about the court ruling, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: “Most spyware is designed to steal your identity, your passwords, your banking information – but it is just as easy to program a Trojan horse to take over your webcam.”

“This case highlights that as well as malware being used for financial gain, it can also be used by voyeurs. Everyone needs to treat computer security as paramount importance to ensure they do not fall victim to an internet blackmailer or peeping tom.”

Most of the oldskool trojans like Back Orifice and DeepThroat came with capabilities to capture frames from the webcam, open and close the CD drive, invert the monitor display, pop up chat windows and many other ‘fun’ features.

I doubt this guy programmed anything himself, most likely he just downloaded something, bound it to something tempting and e-mailed it to the girl.

Source: Tech Radar (Thanks Navin)

Posted in: Hacking News, Legal Issues, Malware

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16 Responses to Webcam Hacker Jailed for 4 Years for Spying on Teenager

  1. Lobak August 28, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    I like the “motto” of ur site :)

  2. send9 August 28, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    Here, let me rephrase the last paragraph:

  3. Pantagruel August 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    With the amount of ‘open’ webcams available you’d wonder (have a look at goolag http://www.darknet.org.uk/2008/03/goolag-gui-tool-for-google-hacking/ or do some old skool Google hacking) why he even bothered.
    Nevertheless good riddens! he crossed the line with the extortion thing

  4. lyz August 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    poor guy. money can really force people to do bad things. tsk tsk. Well if the real motive was to make the girl a cash cow, then these type of people should rot in jail. Shame on you mr.blackmailer!

  5. razta August 28, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    I loved the “Matrix” chat of sub7 back in the day. Parents should not allow their teenage daughters to have web cams! I certanly wouldnt allow my daughter, if I had one.

  6. IcedNyior August 28, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    thats why I always face my webcam to the wall when I’m not using it. Sometimes i even forget Im on webcam and poke my nose. Yes, I’m absent minded like that sometimes *sigh*

  7. pixie August 29, 2008 at 2:23 am #

    Poor gal. Sometimes being outdated by not having a webcam is a good thing too:P

  8. Navin August 29, 2008 at 4:36 am #

    Sorry, was offline for some time (vacationing for a week)

    anyways cheers :)

  9. Morgan Storey August 29, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    I have no sympathy for this guy, it is basically going from giving candy to kids to saying they will embarress them if they don’t give it up. Worse than that he also tried to blackmail money if that didn’t work, what a sicco. Chances are (and this makes it worse) he knew her, so way to destroy her trust in humanity.

  10. Vladimir August 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    Lol… He’s so stupid, why should he blackmail her, he could just watch and be secure…

  11. Navin August 30, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    we’re humans tht’s why!!! We always want more than we can grab

  12. lyz August 30, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    And we can’t do anything with this. thats the sad part here. If he really has that intentions, you can’t stop him.

  13. venom21 September 1, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    ha ha poor guy its a shame his talents will now be to watch his crack in the prison showers

  14. Navin September 1, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Did anyone notice this line “the man was arrested back in 2005, but has only been brought to justice this week.”

    So tht makes it 3+4=7 yrs of hell for the skiddie….sheesh!!

    Offtopic: Darknet, U still on vacation?? Loads of important stuff has been unreported and I for one am slowly moving away :( coz of the lack of updates……cmon man…. get back to work!!!

  15. Morgan Storey September 1, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    @Navin: same as Gary Mckinnon, originally arrested in 2005, only now coming to extradition. In that time he wasn’t allowed to use an internet connected computer, would have made life as a system admin impossible, and he had to report into his police office every evening, which would have made any life at all impossible.
    This guy is in a different league though, he basically forced an underage girl through threats to expose herself. (If he did it and it looks likely) He should rot out his days in the worst gaol they can find.

  16. James Rodgers March 7, 2009 at 1:08 am #

    :P why didnt the girl just block and delete him?