This article is a must-read for everyone who lives on Facebook throughout their day. Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, obviously a 27 year-old recluse, has hacked the accounts of hundreds of Facebook users in order to persuade them to disrobe on camera. Kazaryan first breaks into the account through chat messages that victims click on, linking them to a site who’s purpose is to download malicious software onto their system. Armed with your credentials as a result of the software, he then would pose as the account he’s stolen, chatting with females on their friends list and talking them into removing their clothing in front of their webcam. Once this was done, he took screenshots of the act and used ransom techniques in order to blackmail victims if they did not adhere to his demands.
The FBI reports that they have seized an estimated 3,000 photos from his computer, surmising that more than 350 women may have suffered from his extortion scheme. Federal courts are trying to nail him to a 105 year sentence if convicted. As reported previously on this blog, manipulating users’ webcams is no new development– this now popular avenue is being heavily explored in the security community now.
It would be a great disservice if we didn’t bring attention to the amount of users who are not being more discerning when it comes to their home computer experiences. Keeping your webcam off when not in use and taking the time to identify and avoid suspicious scenarios while using your system will greatly reduce your chances of falling for the many traps awaiting you on the web.