Feeds

New York cop in alleged love-polyhedron email hack spree

Veteran plod 'blew $4k on romanta-rival logins'

Security for virtualized datacentres

A New York detective allegedly hired hackers to spy on 19 fellow cops and at least 11 others - apparently in a bid to discover if any of them were sleeping with his ex.

Edwin Vargas, a 42-year-old Bronx investigator, is accused of spending $4,050 on an email-hacking service to obtain the usernames and passwords for 43 message inboxes in, it is believed, an obsessive quest to keep tabs on his former girlfriend.

He was arrested on Tuesday and appeared before a magistrate judge charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking.

The detective, of Bronxville, New York, it is claimed, had suspected his ex-lover, with whom he had split after they had a child together, had started a new relationship with a fellow officer. The veteran cop of 20 years handed over between $50 and $250 to unnamed hackers for the login details of each inbox, it is claimed.

Vargas accessed at least one of his fellow cops' accounts, the Feds said. He is also charged with unlawfully accessing the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database by allegedly running unauthorised checks on two serving officers.

The prosecution also accused Vargas of paying hackers to snoop on the records of a mobile phone account belonging to one of his targets, as an FBI statement on the case explained:

After receiving the log-in credentials he had purchased from the e-mail hacking services, Vargas accessed at least one personal e-mail account belonging to a current NYPD officer. He also accessed an online cellular telephone account belonging to another victim. Vargas paid a total of more than $4,000 to entities associated with the e-mail hacking services.

An examination of the contents of the hard drive from Vargas’ NYPD computer revealed, among other things, that the Contacts section of his Gmail account included a list of at least 20 e-mail addresses, along with what appear to be telephone numbers, home addresses, and vehicle information corresponding to those e-mail addresses, as well as what appear to be the passwords for those e-mail addresses.

Vargas was released on bail after posting a $50,000 bond. Each of the two charges against him, allegedly committed between March 2011 and October 2012, carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison if he is convicted. "The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," the Feds added in their joint statement with Manhattan's US attorney.

At this stage, the officials omitted any mention of a motive for Vargas' alleged wrongdoing but the New York Daily News, like the New York Times, claimed the suspect was motivated by a desire to spy of the mother of his three-year-old son. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.