Every online scam begins more or less the same—a random e-mail, a sketchy attachment.
But every so often, a new type of hacker comes along. He secretly burrows his way into your hard drive, then into your life. It was a Saturday night, not much happening in her Long Beach, California, neighborhood, so high school senior Melissa Young was home messing around on her computer.
Prosecutors say he was spying on more than 200 women through their webcams, even blackmailing some of them. Rossen Reports: TV and furniture tipovers threaten kids "People who are victims generally have no idea that they are victims," Stickley said. With dad Robert's permission, we had our expert hack into their computer. He sent them an innocent-looking e-card with a virus.
" says a blond woman as she leans back on a couch, bottle-feeding a baby on her lap. Both stare at the computer in horrified fascination. The hacker sends the pair a message that reads "achoo! But, of course, the kinds of people who watch others through their own webcams aren't likely to limit themselves to these sorts of mere hijinks -- not when computers store and webcams record far more intimate material."i enjoy messing with my girl slaves" "Man I feel dirty looking at these pics," wrote one forum poster at Hack Forums, one of the top "aboveground" hacking discussion sites on the internet (it now has more than 23 million total posts).
"It's absolutely creepy...girls are in their bedroom all the time.
I'm frightened for them." Rossen Reports: Extreme identity thieves live as you So we took it up a notch, having our expert hack into the webcam in her daughter's upstairs bedroom, where they were waiting with our producer.
Attached to the note was a file labeled simply SCARY. Yeah, the IM had come from her account, but she hadn't sent it. That night, Suzy's 20-year-old friend Nila Westwood got the same note, the same attachment. When she called her friend to see what she'd missed, things actually got freaky: Suzy'd never sent a thing.
Melissa wondered why her goof-off sister was IM'ing from the next room instead of just padding over—she wasn't usually that lazy—so she walked over to see what was up. Unlike Melissa, she opened it, expecting, say, a video of some guy stapling his lip to his chin on You Tube. The girls pieced together the clues and agreed: Suzy's AOL account had been hacked.