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Student hacker admits ‘sextortion’

AFP-JIJI

A U.S. student has agreed to plead guilty to hacking online accounts of Miss Teen USA and a dozen other women and threatening to publish nude photos of them, prosecutors said Thursday.

Jared James Abrahams surrendered in September to FBI agents probing “sextortion” cases, in which he made demands in return for agreeing not to release the pictures.

A plea agreement filed last week detailed how, starting last year and continuing until June, the computer science student hacked into computers, email and social media accounts. The pictures, sometimes nude, were taken from webcams.

The investigation involved multiple victims in California as well as Canada, Moldova and Russia. The most high-profile was Cassidy Wolf, who won the Miss Teen USA pageant in August. Wolf, 18, called investigators in March after receiving threatening emails containing nude photos of herself. The sender said he would distribute the pictures “all over the Internet” unless she either sent him a personal video of herself, joined him on Skype for a five-minute video chat during which she would have to do whatever he said, or sent him “good quality pics” of herself.