Before you read this awful story, please stop and do 3 quick things:
1. Make sure you have a strong password on your accounts
2. Review your Facebook profile to see how much information you share about yourself that could be used to impersonate you (high school attended, pet's name, favorite color, etc)
3. Photos of you on your email account could be fair game to a hacker - please snap those photos and shoot and store videos wisely
A man in California has admitted that he used Facebook profiles to collect information and hack into the email accounts of women. Once inside their accounts, he would search around their email account and if he found nude or compromising pictures or videos, he sent those out to any addresses he found in their contact book.
Just to add to this heartbreaking story, he actually coerced one victim into sending him explicit photos of her under threat that he would distribute the pictures he stole from her account.
One victim had sent photos of herself to her husband. The hacker posted them on her Facebook account and a friend notified her.
A quote from the National Cyber Security article that tugged at my heart for this poor woman:
“I have a network of like 1,500 people, so they all saw my pictures. So my graduating class of 2007 saw that. I’m in the military, so all my army friends saw that,” Piscak said.
How did he do this?
1. He would scan facebook
2. If women posted their email addresses (newsflash - most of you do), he would study their profile intently so he would have the answers to security questions
3. He would email the email service provider using the information he learned about them to convince the email providers that he was them
4. Where possible, he would take over their Facebook account as well using the information he found in their profile to guess at security questions or at their password
17 States, Washington DC and England.
"Hacker Assaulted Women on Facebook", National Cyber Security, January 15, 2011.