Paraplegic secretly hacked girls' webcams, microphones

While groups like Anonymous hack sites to steal data and publicly embarrass companies, some people use their talents to spy on and blackmail their victims. Luis Mijangos falls into the second category, and today he was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in writing malware that allowed him to secretly use the webcams and microphones of his victims’ computers.

According to IT World, Mijangos is a paraplegic who created websites from his home. When not taking on freelance work he wrote trojans and tricked users into installing them, frequently making them appear as videos that the victim would want to watch. Court filings indicated that he, “read victims' e-mails and IMs, watched them through their webcams, and listened to them through the microphones on their computers.” He managed to trick one user into thinking that he was her boyfriend and convinced her to send nude photos to him. Once he had the photos, he took things one step further and began to blackmail her into sending him more photos.

These types of attacks are growing in popularity and have been dubbed “sextortion.”  In January we reported that a California man was using personal details provided by Facebook in order to change the email passwords of his victims. From there he would search for nude photos and then forward them to everyone in the address book. These “spear phishing” attacks are difficult to protect against and are a growing concern on the Internet.

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24 Comments

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Porn is there for anyone who wants to see. I don't see the point of doing things like that...
He deserves to get locked in a cage...

Aghares said,
Porn is there for anyone who wants to see. I don't see the point of doing things like that...
He deserves to get locked in a cage...

This might not be 100% about sexual gratification. It could be more of a power trip experiance. Because he is a paraplegic, I'm going to assume he has had to have or has in the past had a lot of help from others, feeling somewhat helpless,
This might be a way he's found an escape from that and have some 'power' over (their helplessness) the random people - maybe just like the random people had over him when they were trying to help.
I know it doesn't make things right, but I really don't think he did it because he couldn't find any porn, it was more like he did it because he couldn't control his own life.

GreatMarkO said,
"These “spear phishing” attacks are difficult to protect against"

...you can protect against them by not having any nude photos of yourself!!

Also by not using Facebook, or at least, not replying to anyone and everyone who "talks" to you. Weren't people always taught to not talk to strangers?

Edit:
Wow! That reply didn't work quite right!

carson2255 said,
Waterboarding would help....

Somehow I don't think you can blackmail someone into waterboarding themselfs ... is it even possible to waterboard yourself ?

"These “spear phishing” attacks are difficult to protect against"

...you can protect against them by not having any nude photos of yourself!!

GreatMarkO said,
"These “spear phishing” attacks are difficult to protect against"

...you can protect against them by not having any nude photos of yourself!!

I'm sure many of his victims would have loved to have not had nude pictures, but after he's turned on their webcam without them knowing about it then it might become impossible not to be seen nude in their own home. More so if they have en suite bathrooms or are getting changed in their bedroom where the computer with the webcam is located.

Insta-nude pictures without the victim even knowing they have nude pictures
That itself is hard to protect from.

Saying that, this sounds very much like a throw back to the late 90s where sub7 trojans were all over the place and webcams were quite new and most new PCs were bundled with them.

I know a lot of the webcam's I've looked at in the past year have had LEDs or some way of telling the user its active, and some even have a privacy flip to cover the lense but most of the laptops that have built in webcams don't have anything.

"Paraplegic" adds nothing to the story, so I'm not sure it's relevant enough to be in the title; seems a little weird to be honest.

I would agree though, it's certainly scary what can be gleaned from our online presence these days.

AnthonySterling said,
"Paraplegic" adds nothing to the story, so I'm not sure it's relevant enough to be in the title; seems a little weird to be honest.

I would agree though, it's certainly scary what can be gleaned from our online presence these days.

I thought that too, is like saying he was blonde or tall...

AnthonySterling said,
"Paraplegic" adds nothing to the story, so I'm not sure it's relevant enough to be in the title; seems a little weird to be honest.

I would agree though, it's certainly scary what can be gleaned from our online presence these days.

I'm not sure this whole article should even be news TBH.
There are people on HF with >1000 'victims' (and nude pics), and people only get arrested if they do something stupid like hacking an FBI affiliated site (http://knightnews.com/wp-conte...s/2011/07/001_COMPLAINT.pdf).
Sounds like they tried to make an example of a paraplegic hacker and ended up just creating lulz.

AnthonySterling said,
"Paraplegic" adds nothing to the story, so I'm not sure it's relevant enough to be in the title; seems a little weird to be honest.

I would agree though, it's certainly scary what can be gleaned from our online presence these days.

I don't see a problem there. It's something you don't read everyday.

AnthonySterling said,
"Paraplegic" adds nothing to the story, so I'm not sure it's relevant enough to be in the title; seems a little weird to be honest.
It gives him a motive....that's pretty much the only interaction with a girl he's going to have lol