Feeds

Man charged with malware 'sextortion' plot

Sex, lies and video web cams

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Federal prosecutors have accused a man of hacking into scores of computers and using the personal information he found to extort sexually explicit videos from female victims, many of whom were juveniles.

Luis Mijangos, 31, of Santa Ana, California, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with extortion, according to court documents. Investigators who searched his home found dozens of videos that appeared to be shot from the web cams of infected PCs. They “showed the unknowing victim in some sort of undress (ie getting out of the shower, dressing for the day, having sex with a partner)”, according to an affidavit filed in the case. Many of the victims remain unidentified and appear to be juveniles.

According to prosecutors, Mijangos used peer-to-peer file-sharing networks to infect his victims, inducing them to download and double-click on executable files that were disguised as popular songs. Once he gained control of a PC, the independent software consultant would rifle through the hard drive for intimate images and other incriminating data, which he would use to extort sexually explicit videos from the victims, court documents allege.

“You have three kids and a psycho ex but hat [sic] I don't care if you don't want this pics and the rest I have from you to be publsihed [sic] this is what I want,” he wrote in a demand to a victim identified only as K.S. “A porn video of you 'you can blur your face;' if don't get the video ina day I will publish thse [sic] images and let your family know about your dark side as a hooker.”

In other cases, Mijangos allegedly contacted women posing as their boyfriends and asked them to create pornographic videos for him. Once he succeeded, he would demand more sexually explicit videos under threats of publicly distributing the previously sent images, the documents, filed in US District Court in Los Angeles, claimed.

Mijangos allegedly used the hijacked computer of one person to infect her friends. Many of the victims reported being infected after clicking on files sent by friends over instant messaging programs. Once a PC was hijacked, he would frequently turn on its web cam and capture video of people in the room, prosecutors alleged. He allegedly installed key-loggers on hijacked computers as well, which he used to steal credit card numbers and other personal information.

During an FBI raid on his home, Mijangos allegedly admitted that he hacked into computers and asked for sexually explicit videos, but he said he did so at the direction of boyfriends and husbands who sought to find out if the women were cheating on them. He also admitted he was part of an underground gang of hackers and participated in credit card fraud.

In all, he allegedly infected more than 100 computers used by approximately 230 individuals, at least 44 of whom were juveniles, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Mijangos faces a maximum of two years in federal prison. He has not been charged with the manufacture or possession of child pornography or crimes involving identity theft or the theft of credit card numbers. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon and has yet to enter a plea. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.