Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

FBI investigating 'sextortion' case targeting Miss Teen USA

By Andrew Blankstein

Los Angeles Times

LAST UPDATED: 02:01 p.m. HST, Aug 14, 2013

LOS ANGELES » The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed today that it was investigating an alleged “sextortion” case involving newly crowned Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf from Orange County and other women.

Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said the investigation was several months old but would not discuss any details of the case, including whether a suspect had been identified.

Wolf, who was Miss California Teen USA before winning the Miss Teen USA pageant over the weekend at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, said in media interviews that she received an anonymous e-mail from someone claiming to be in possession of nude photos of her taken via the webcam on her computer.

Wolf also said the author tried to extort her to ensure that the photos were not made public.

The incident, in which someone was able hack into Wolf’s computer and turn on its webcam, is the latest in a string of so-called “sextortion” cases involving individuals who have used e-mail accounts, social media or a computer’s own hardware to glean compromising information or images of its user.

A Glendale man, Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, pleaded guilty last month in a “sextortion” case in which he targeted 350 women and coerced them into showing him pictures of them nude.

Prosecutors alleged Kazaryan hacked into the Facebook, Skype and e-mail accounts of victims and changed their passwords, locking them out of their own online accounts. He then searched e-mails and other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the women, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends.

Kazaryan then posed online as those women and sent instant messages to their friends, convincing them to remove their clothing so he could view and take pictures of them, authorities alleged.

Once the victims learned that someone had impersonated their friend, Kazaryan then used the photos to coerce them to remove their clothing on camera, according to authorities.

In December, a Florida man who hacked into e-mail accounts and procured naked images of celebrities, including Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Christopher Chaney, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles to nine counts of computer hacking and wiretapping for the unauthorized access of e-mail accounts belonging to 50 people in the entertainment industry.

Once Chaney got photos of the celebrities and other information, he forwarded the material to another hacker and two celebrity web sites that made them public, according to a plea agreement made public last year.

Chaney has admitted that from at least November 2010 to October 2011, he hacked into the e-mail accounts of Johansson, Kunis and others by taking their e-mail addresses, clicking on the “Forgot your password?” feature and then resetting the passwords by correctly answering their security questions using publicly available information he found by searching the Internet.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Breaking News
Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout

Wassup Wit Dat!
Can You Spock ‘Em?

Warrior Beat
Meal plan

Volley Shots
Fey, Enriques on MJNT

Political Radar
Wilhelmina Rise, et al.

Court Sense
Cold War