Hacker Accused In Elaborate Scam

7:10 AM, Jun 23, 2010   |    comments
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's a doozie of a scam -- and prosecutors in Los Angeles say a hacker they arrested is facing extortion charges as a result.

Authorities say the hacker took over more than 100 computers -- and used them to extort sexually explicit videos from young women and teenage girls in a fairly elaborate scheme.

Here's how prosecutors say it went down: they say Luis Mijangos would get the profiles of those using peer-to-peer networks and plant bogus files that appeared to be popular songs. The files contained malicious computer code that infected the machines. Once in control of a computer, authorities say the hacker searched for sexual or intimate images of women.

He also hacked e-mail accounts and pretended to be some of the females' boyfriends -- asking them to make porn videos. And after that, prosecutors claim Mijangos got in touch with his alleged victims -- and threatened to distribute their videos to their computer contacts unless they made more videos for him.

Authorities say the alleged hacker had a lot of technical skills to pull all of this off. If convicted of the extortion charges, Mijangos could get a maximum federal prison sentence of two years.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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