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17659This is some wicked stuff

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  • oracleintl@aol.com
    Sep 1, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      Issued on Thursday, September 1 at 12:25 p.m. PDT

      LOS ANGELES – A Santa Ana man who hacked into dozens of computers to
      obtain personal data – and in some cases demanded sexually explicit videos from
      female victims in exchange for not distributing other images – was sentenced
      today to 72 months in federal prison.
      Luis Mijangos, 32, an illegal alien from Mexico, received the six-year
      prison term from United States District Judge George H. King, who said the
      defendant engaged in “psychological warfare” and “cyberterrorism.”
      Mijangos pleaded guilty in March 2011 to computer hacking and wiretapping.
      When he pleaded guilty, Mijangos specifically admitted that in late 2009 he
      used malicious software to hack into a teenage girl’s computer, which gave
      him control over the victim’s webcam and allowed him to surreptitiously
      obtain naked photos of her. He also admitted that in April 2009, through the
      use of malware, he intercepted portions of a private conversation by
      listening through the microphone on a victim's computer.
      In sentencing papers filed with the court this summer, prosecutors said
      Mijangos is a “computer hacker who infected the computers of hundreds of
      victims by sending Trojan emails and instant messages embedded with malicious
      software that gave him complete access to and control over the victims’
      computers.” In addition to stealing financial information, Mijangos “read
      victims’ emails and IMs, watched them through their webcams, and listened to
      them through the microphones on their computers. Often, he then used the
      information he obtained to play psychological games with his victims.”
      Court documents filed in the case describe how Mijangos induced victims to
      download the malware onto their computers by making the files appear to be
      popular songs or videos. After the victims downloaded the malware, Mijangos
      was able to control their computers, allowing him to send instant messages
      containing malware from those computers to other people in the victims’
      address books. These later victims thought they were receiving messages from
      friends or family members.
      Court papers also describe how Mijangos obtained images and videos from
      female victims, which he used to “sextort” victims by threatening to post
      intimate pictures on the Internet unless the victims provided Mijangos with
      more intimate images or videos. When one victim shared Mijangos “sextortionate
      ” threats with a friend, Mijangos responded by posting nude pictures of
      the victim on her MySpace page, prosecutors said in their sentencing brief.
      “We now live in a world gone digital, relying on our personal computers for
      everything from banking, to learning, to intimate communications with
      friends and family,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Mr.
      Mijangos invaded the sanctity of many personal digital worlds and used intimate
      content to victimize and prey upon unsuspecting victims.”
      Steven M. Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles
      Field Office, stated: “The sentence imposed on Mr. Mijangos is appropriate
      based on the chilling impact his behavior had on scores of young women. The
      FBI has seen a rise in similar cases based on the exploitation of emerging
      technologies by criminals, and it’s my hope that this sentence serves as a
      warning for victims of Internet predators to advise law enforcement or a
      trusted source when threatened, and always refrain from sending compromising
      photographs via cyberspace.”
      At the time of Mijangos’ arrest in June 2010, FBI computer forensics
      experts had determined that he had infected more than 100 computers that were
      used by approximately 230 individuals, at least 44 of whom were juveniles. In
      sentencing papers filed this year, prosecutors said that many other victims
      remain unidentified.
      Mijangos told federal agents last year that he worked with “black hat”
      hackers to obtain financial information that he claimed earned him as much as
      $3,000 per day, according to an affidavit filed in the case. But,
      prosecutors said in court papers that Mijangos also caused psychological harm to the
      young women and girls who were the victims of his “sextortion.”
      During today’s sentencing hearing, two sextortion victims described how
      they were subjected to “nightmare” situations. One young woman said that
      before Mijangos victimized her she had been a victim of domestic violence, “and
      I want to tell you, there’s no difference.”
      In sentencing Mijangos, Judge King said: “This was nothing short of a
      sustained effort to terrorize victims.” The court later added that “a lot of
      people suffered – and suffered greatly.”
      This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the
      Glendale Police Department. The federal investigation into Mijangos started
      when the Glendale Police Department referred the matter to the FBI after
      receiving a complaint from a victim and realizing a sophisticated computer
      hacker may have been victimizing numerous people.
      CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Christensen
      Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section
      (213) 894-3756
      Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Williams
      (213) 894-5862

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