Saturday, December 24, 2011

Heavy social networking users targets of webcam-related schemes (the Mijangos case)

The January 2012 print issue of GQ,  on p. 90, has a detailed story (by David Kushner and Jason Madara) of the “sextortion” computer hacking by a disabled California man Luis Mijangos, which involved controlling webcams of users laptops after getting them to download infected videos from emails with senders spoofed to look like social networking (often Facebook) friends.   The story is not available online yet. 

The O.C. Weekly (yes The OC, or Orange County) had a detailed story of the arrest in September here.  

The Huffington Post had a story on his six year sentencing in September. 
Generally, this sort of scam is much more dangerous to people who are “heavy” users of social media , especially those who use their webcams a lot and share a lot of videos and photos.  It’s a bit of a paradox. Some employers even think that large friends’ lists are a sign of social success, but it’s very much a two-way street as far as I’m concerned. 

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