Teen "sextortion" hacker jailed for 18 months

Hackers have infiltrated networks and computer systems ever since the creation of the Internet, but many hackers are known for hacking sites with non-malicious reasons often to test security systems. Unfortunately, a huge proportion of hackers often breach systems illegally for personal gainsThe latest unethical hacker to be put into the spotlight is 19-year-old Jared James Abraham.

The computer engineering student was sentenced to 18 months in prison for blackmailing young women by hacking their webcams and obtaining explicit images.

Abraham infiltrated 150 accounts over the space of two years during his crime spree which targeted women spanning from the US to Ireland. One of his victims included Teen USA winner Cassidy Wolf, who attended the same school as the hacker.

Miss Teen U.S.A Cassidy Wolf fell victim to Abraham's evil scheme.

According to BBC, Abraham was arrested in 2013 and pleaded guilty to one count of computer hacking and three of extortion.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said Abraham targeted women that he had known personally or found through Facebook. In a plot to extort cash from victims, he remotely turned on their webcams to capture images when his victims were naked. Victims were also asked to provide Abraham with more images through the Skype video-calling service. In a statement about the case, the DoJ warns webcams should always be covered to avoid these potentially life-changing situations.

"In some cases, this type of criminal behaviour can be life-changing for the victims- especially for vulnerable victims who may feel it is impossible to rebuild their tarnished reputations.”

Officials said people should also think twice about posting images and videos to avoid becoming a victim of extortion. Users should also choose hard-to-guess passwords, download the latest software updates and avoid opening unexpected attachments.

Source: BBC | Images via Shuttershock and Business Insider

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25 Comments

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No PC was hacked; The "victims" simply download software that the "attacker" (not a hacker) sent them and installed it, leaving a easy backdoor to spy and blackmail them.

Its so sad that we have such stigma and taboos surrounding nudity that someone can use it for extortion. I understand these young women were victims here, and I'm not saying that they shouldn't consider themselves victims... But in my ideal society, nobody would give a rats ass about a few photos of the human form.

Victims?
While I understand, you must remember, they parade themselves around pretty much naked for the whole of the USA to see, just to win some stupid award.
American's and their award shows - are you not bored of the same old thing yet?

Sir Topham Hatt said,
Victims?
While I understand, you must remember, they parade themselves around pretty much naked for the whole of the USA to see, just to win some stupid award.
American's and their award shows - are you not bored of the same old thing yet?

Like ridiculously bored... I don't know why they still exist. Sorry that my country doesn't conform to you or I .

Why should I spend money to buy covers? Why is the PC on if I am not using it? Turn it off...PROBLEM SOLVED. Cost nothing.

More scare tactics to get you to buy stuff.
What about the NSA's ability to turn on the cameras on GSM activated iPhones'? Should we all go by covers?

Why would ANYONE spend money to buy covers?

All it takes is a small piece of black electrical tape, or some scotch tape and a sharpie.

Protip: fold over a small corner of the tape so you can remove it when you want to use the webcam.

1. Stand outside the room and ask your little brother/sister to turn it on.
2. Stand outside the room and press the power button with a long pole.
3. Stand outside the room and press the power button using a dart gun.

- just kidding of course!

cyberdrone2000 said,
Why would ANYONE spend money to buy covers?

All it takes is a small piece of black electrical tape, or some scotch tape and a sharpie.

Protip: fold over a small corner of the tape so you can remove it when you want to use the webcam.

Or, if you didnt care about color, you could also take a sticky note, rip off the sticky part, and place it over it. =)

Scabrat said,

Or, if you didnt care about color, you could also take a sticky note, rip off the sticky part, and place it over it. =)


exactly what I've been doing for my work laptop for years... For my Surface Pro its never on when its not needed, if I'm downloading or transferring to/fro my NAS, I have the cover closed...

how people can not be mindful of the little light that comes on when its activated is beyond me, if I was changing or just in my room and saw that, I'd be alarmed straight away...

just me...

adza33 said,


exactly what I've been doing for my work laptop for years... For my Surface Pro its never on when its not needed, if I'm downloading or transferring to/fro my NAS, I have the cover closed...

how people can not be mindful of the little light that comes on when its activated is beyond me, if I was changing or just in my room and saw that, I'd be alarmed straight away...

just me...

There was actually an issue with one of the older macbooks where it was possible to flash a modified firmware for the isight webcam so that the light would not come on when activated.

Webcam covers are certainly a low-tech way to avoid these sort of things but what we should be promoting left and right is the use of password managers and two-factor authentication to protect our accounts.