Feeds

Man charged with malware 'sextortion' plot

Sex, lies and video web cams

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.