back to article Miss Teen US 'sextortion' hacker pleads guilty

A teenage computer science student from California faces a possible prison sentence after pleading guilty to hacking into the webcams of young women, among them Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf. Jared James Abrahams, 19, of Temecula in California, admitted to hacking into the computers of at least two dozen women including Wolf …


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  1. Tchou

    Hadn't he blackmailed, he would have ejoyed his "privilege" longer and the being caught the sentence would have been a lot lighter...

    1. Jediben

      I just can't understand why so many of these girls were ever in a state of undress directly in front of an active laptop to begin with. Is this the new teenage equivalent of the chicken scene in Stand By Me?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Teenagers often use a laptop in their bedroom. I personally don't tend to shutdown computers or drape them with a dust sheet before changing my clothes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          sorry - downvoted by accident.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't believe his guilt, I must see the evidence first.

  3. Nuke

    No Off Switches?

    I don't get it.. Never having had a webcam, don't they have off-switches?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: No Off Switches?

      Not any more - early ones used to have a physical shutter, and a big bright green LED when it was in operation.

      I note that the RPi camera module can have that led disabled (by software), which is good for a security camera, but bad in terms of covertly placed "security" cameras.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: No Off Switches?

      3M makes a great camera off switch that is universally applicable for webcams and leaves no reside on the lens when removed. It comes conveniently packaged on a roll and includes 250' of pure webcam stopping power in a tech fashion friendly black. Other colors and roll lengths may be available. Consult your local home improvement store to view their in stock selection or you can order from

      3M - Delivering privacy assurance products to the consumer PC market for over 25 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Off Switches?

        Covering a microphone only somewhat muffles it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Off Switches?

      You might own a phone or laptop with a webcam built in. Perhaps not, but many of us do and clearly there are active exploits, low-hanging fruit waiting for nefarious CS students or government spooks and the like to pick.

    4. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: No Off Switches?

      Even for the ones that aren't built-in to a laptop, like the ones I use for phone conferencing, don't have power switches. You unplug them from the USB port.

      Not only that, they all have the big red flashing LEDs, as well as a disable option for them in the software.

      1. foxyshadis

        Re: No Off Switches?

        If you can disable them in software, then RAT hackers can enable them in software. Kind of obvious.

        And they sure as hell don't ALL have LEDs, and even of the ones that do, some have driver hacks to turn off the LED.

        Unplugging or covering is definitely the best way.

  4. i like crisps

    The thing i find most appalling about this, is...

    ...That in the 21st century, Beauty Pageants are actually still

    going on!!...'Only in America'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Glass Houses Re: 'Only in America'

      ..and pretty much every other nation on earth, including the UK

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    faces a possible prison sentence


    Certain and long, I hope.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: faces a possible prison sentence

      "He is due to be sentenced in March, when he faces a likely sentence of around

      two-and-a-half years imprisonment, but could potentially serve 11 years,

      according to a plea bargaining deal."

      I don't think a slap on the wrist will help anyone. I was thinking a 10 year

      stretch in the slammer. A Dickensian panopticon with perforated steel for

      windows and very old sponge-rubber for a mattress and a pillow. And put him in with

      someone whose body functions are unsalubrious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: faces a possible prison sentence

        You forgot the permanently-manned spy holes. Punishment fitting crime, and all that.

  7. foxyshadis

    So people caught with possession of child porn often get 2+ year sentences and put on the sex offender list, even if it's mostly converted to probation. This guy MADE child porn from unwilling victims, may well have distributed it, and he gets a mere 2.5 year sentence that will probably also be mostly converted to probation. Something is wrong here, I thought we were supposed to come down hardest on the creators.

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