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United States Crime Privacy

Ex-US State Dept. Worker Pleads Guilty To Extensive Sextortion Case (networkworld.com) 60

coondoggie writes: The former U.S. Department of State man accused of hacking into hundreds of victims' e-mail and social media accounts, stealing thousands of sexually explicit photographs, and threatening at least 75 victims that he would post those photos and other personal information unless they agreed to his demands has entered a guilty plea to the nefarious attacks. Michael C. Ford, 36, of Atlanta, was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Aug. 18, 2015, with nine counts of cyberstalking, seven counts of computer hacking to extort and one count of wire fraud.
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Ex-US State Dept. Worker Pleads Guilty To Extensive Sextortion Case

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  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @11:17PM (#51092973)
    ... did he do all of this from a server in his house?
    • ... did he do all of this from a server in his house?

      From TFA:
      "The majority of Ford’s phishing, hacking and cyberstalking activities were conducted from his computer at the U.S. Embassy."

    • Stuff that matters, maybe. But news for nerds? It this TMZ now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @11:27PM (#51093017)

    A very tame example of why we shouldn't be allowing warrantless bulk data collection - the obvious better examples are those of journalists assassinated - such as Michael Hastings.

    • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:41AM (#51093259)

      A very tame example of why we shouldn't be allowing warrantless bulk data collection - the obvious better examples are those of journalists assassinated - such as Michael Hastings.

      I'm not defending this guy in any way, but if you read the article, it doesn't appear he used data from any government bulk data collection program. In fact, I don't think he used any special access he might have had working in the State Department. He just happened to be employed there. That doesn't make what he did okay, and it doesn't make government warrantless data collection okay, but one doesn't really follow from the other in this case at all.

    • A very tame example of why we shouldn't be allowing warrantless bulk data collection - the obvious better examples are those of journalists assassinated - such as Michael Hastings.

      There is no discussion of bulk data collection and based on what he was doing I think the more likely case is that one or more of the girls called the police who brought in the FBI and stung him. No bulk data collection required.

  • "The majority of Ford’s phishing, hacking and cyberstalking activities were conducted from his computer at the U.S. Embassy in London." For all we know the next Aldridge Ames is working in the London embassy. It's not like state department security is going to catch him.
  • I don't see the news here - The NSA, GCHQ, CSEC etc. do most of that every day. They might not sell or post the data but it certainly feels threatening knowing they have it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the constants in human history is that people can and will abuse any power they get - and government employees who have the power of government behind them will abuse the power over the citizens with even more vigor. This is why placing too much power in the hands of government is ALWAYS bad.

    How's all that government spying on the citizens working out? The government has clearly been vacuuming-up data on all the people "to keep us safe", but it did not stop the Boston Bombing nor the shootout at the

    • Nearly every major airport in the US has had incidents of TSA employees abusing their ability to rifle through checked bags in order to steal valuables from the flying public.

      Eh? There are some major airports that don't utilize TSA?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is simply some percent of the human race that cannot be trusted with power over other people

      Don't get too sanctimonious, bud. That figure is 100%.

    • by rhazz ( 2853871 )
      I'm guessing you didn't read the article, because this really has nothing to do with bulk data collection or abuse of power.

      The guy sent out phishing emails using the old "Hi I work for email provider X and your email account has been marked for deletion. Please respond with your password to prevent deletion." He then accessed the accounts of people who fell for it (the article refers to this as "hacking"), searched for emails with naughty pics and identifying info, then extorted them for more naughty pic
  • Very painful new word - "sextorsion" sounds like someone getting their knickers in a twist.
  • What has happened to Slashdot? Do I really have to be the first one to say it, this far into the discussion?

    PICS or it didn't happen!

  • Pics or it didn't happen.
  • I will never understand why so many people seem to have email accounts that are full of naked pictures of themselves.

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