A 20 year old California student, Jared James Abrahams, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for hacking into 150 online accounts to extort young females into sending him nude photos and video. James pleaded guilty on November 12 after he was arrested by the FBI.
According to the US attorney's office, James targeted young women he knew and found more victims after hacking into Facebook pages.
By using hacking software, James took control of the victims' email account, social network accounts and even their computers. This allowed him to remotely turn on webcams and time to time, taking pictures of the victims when they were naked. He then used these photos to extort the victims by threatening to publicly post them on their social network accounts, unless, they either sent more photos or videos, or accept a Skype session with him and did what he asked them to for 5 minutes.At least two victims consented to the Skype sessions so that their photos are not posted on the internet.
In a sentencing memo filed with the court, prosecutors wrote,
“As digital devices, email accounts, and social media accounts now contain the most intimate details of the public’s daily lives, the impact of this type of hacking and extortion becomes more pronounced, troubling, and far-reaching,”... “In some cases, this type of criminal behavior can be life-changing for the victims – especially for vulnerable victims who may feel it is impossible to rebuild their tarnished reputations. Stated differently, individuals like defendant have the ability to affect a person’s life in frightening ways by using the broad reach of the Internet.”
Source:[US Attorney's Office]