Cops Make Arrest in Miss Teen USA Sicko Webcam Extortion Case


The FBI has made an arrest in connection with the case of a hacker who allegedly weaseled his way into the webcams of teenagers and women on several continents and forced them to strip for him, extorting them with the threat of leaking nude pictures he’d taken while they weren’t suspecting, the New York Post reports.

One of the victims was Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf, 19. From the Post: Read More


Hacker Breaks Into Baby Monitor and Says Creepy Things to a 2-Year-Old

Hacked. (Photo: KTRK-TV)

Courtesy of a hacker, Marc Gilbert and his wife may have already experienced the scariest moment of their child’s life–and she’s only two.

Last weekend, Mr. Gilbert and his wife heard creepily sexual messages being whispered–including “Wake up Allyson, you little (expletive)”–through their baby monitoring system, which contains an Internet-connected camera used to keep tabs from other rooms in the house. He pulled the plug on the camera, and they’ve concluded that the system was hacked. Read More


Creative Hacker Attaches Clue to Cat and Waits for Lulz

(Photo: Veterinary Practice News)

A clever hacker has dispatched Japan’s National Police Agency on a fruitless chase to find him after he sent emails from various computers that included bomb threats against elementary schools. According to Wired, the agency has released a bounty of 3 million Yen (about $34,000) for the capture of the anonymous hacker, who has evaded them for months by sending the threatening messages using a computer virus that allows him to control terminals remotely. Read More

Hackers Beware

Gucci Hacker Gets Prison Time

Hackers having fun, unlike Sam Yin.

Manhattan’s district attorney has slapped Gucci hacker Sam Chihlung Yin with up to six years in state prison for hacking the corporate network of Gucci American, Inc. In a press release from the office of Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the D.A. noted that Mr. Yin pleaded guilty in mid-July to one felony count of computer tampering in the first degree and 10 felony counts of “criminal possession of computer related material.”

Mr. Vance’s announcement regarding Mr. Yin’s sentence included a quote from the D.A. that could be read as a none-too-veiled warning to anyone else tempted to follow the former Gucci network engineer’s example: Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Civic-Minded Hacker Builds Farmers Market API In Less Than an Hour With Zero Down


With all the reports of malwebolence of late, Betabeat would like to humbly offer this example of hacking for the public good. Code for America–like the Peace Corps if the Peace Corps knew their way around an SDK–just posted a new project from one of its 2011 fellows,  John Mertens. A recent Valley transplant, Mr. Mertens found himself full of wholesome locavore intentions, but unsure of where he might be able to exercise them. Read More

Not the Hacker

Brooklyn Hipster Targeted as a Hacker Says the FBI Has the Wrong Guy: ‘I Can Barely Turn My Computer On’

Wrong dude, FBI.

The international hacker manhunt that included on a raid on the McKibbin lofts Tuesday turned out to be an exercise in futility, at least locally. Although the FBI arrested 16 alleged hackers around the globe, the suspected Anonymous member or members they thought lived in the East Williamsburg dorms had moved out a few weeks ago. But in an interview with The Brooklyn Paper, 25-year-old Garrett Deming, one of the apartment’s former residents, says the real problem was that the feds were banging down the wrong door.

Current tenants reported that the FBI was looking for the band Broken Glow, who used to live on the 5th floor. But Mr. Deming, lead singer of Broken Glow and assistant manager at Greene Grape Provisions, told the paper, “I can barely turn my computer on. Any of our computer use is for band promotion stuff.” What’s more, one suspect may have been the victim, not the instigator. Brenner Eugenides, Mr. Deming’s roommate, says his Gmail account has been hacked. “There was a bunch of weird Paypal stuff that came up,” he said. “Someone clearly had access to my information.” Read More

Privacy Police

Finding a Laptop in the Trash is Not the Same as Hacking


From the department of hackneyed plot twists comes today’s New York Times story about Goldman fall guy Fabrice Tourre.

Turns out the Grey Lady had long term access to Fab’s emails. Was it through some crack investigative reporting?

Nope, turns out an artist found his laptop in the trash and, after seeing Fab’s name in the paper, started handing the correspondence over to The NYT.

This led Felix Salmon to ask the question: does this constitute hacking by The New York Times? Read More