nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

I've never been so happy..

...to be reminded of stereotypical reprisals in prison.

They are gonna fillet this bastard, and honestly, I am slightly giddy at the thought of it

7
34
Anonymous Coward

Re: I've never been so happy..

... I am slightly giddy at the thought of it ...

You should seek help. Luckily, by openly admitting to sadistic fantasies, you have already made the first step on the way to eventual recovery. Just make sure to face your problem one day at a time.

32
7

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: I've never been so happy..

I think he was saying that if the bloke were to repeatedly slip and fall in the shower, he wouldn't shed a tear.

Or that the guy should become Bubba's bee-itch

0
2
Silver badge

One overlooked problem

What was overlooked is it takes a couple of victims to say enough, approach the local flatfeet. Once the flatfeet start poking around they will use tools to track one down. The basic problem is every computer online is connecting from a physical location. If the locations used can be determined which is likely to happen the flatfeet will come a'knockin'. Even the most careful will make a mistake and put a sign that says "I am here".

6
0

Re: One overlooked problem

If the scumbag had gone war driving and used someone else's open Wi-Fi then even this technique wouldn't have worked.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: One overlooked problem

If he'd gone war driving, then the connections would likely have come from a handful of networks within easy driving distance. So a suitable stakeout could still catch the perp. Yes, more resources, more subpoenas but ultimately still trackable.

18
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: One overlooked problem

Agreed. A colleague has an ISP that provides public wifi through a secondary system on his router. He regularly spots people using it and reboots his router, causing them to drive off. He's an antisocial bastard like that.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: One overlooked problem

"If the scumbag had gone war driving and used someone else's open Wi-Fi then even this technique wouldn't have worked."

I'm slightly concerned that it would have worked. They'd have busted down the door of some random innocent and - faced with these charges - there's a reasonable chance a jury would convict without the surveillance evidence or the sucker would have accepted a plea bargain.

So kudos to the FBI for doing it right.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: One overlooked problem

They wouldn't have busted down the door.

There's more to the investigation than a single point of contact.

Its that single point that leads to a location that leads to further investigation.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: One overlooked problem

This is an excellent example of how digital intercepts should work (and be limited to).

Tell me again why they need to slurp *everything*?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: One overlooked problem

Tell me again why they need to slurp *everything*?

Because they're perverts.

0
0

He's going to be very popular in prison... oh the games that will be played.

3
22
ZPO

Telegraph Pole?

Might want to proofread a bit more.

0
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Telegraph Pole?

Electric pole, telephone pole, cable pole, utility pole? What difference does it make? I don't think anyone thought it was necessarily near the rail line. Given how many folks are cutting the landline phone and cable TV cords we'll be left with power and data pole until enough folk go solar when it becomes just a data pole, at least until it turns into an antenna or is replaced with underground fiber.

0
1
Gold badge
Unhappy

OMG. Feds gather evidence of actual crime, get court warrant and arrest actual suspect

I think that's the story here.

I don't think anyone has a problem the use of this tool on that basis. *

Makes a nice change following the antics of the NSA's "must have all data, all the time, forever."

*Although in the UK expect the Daily Heil to call for a ban on the use of TOR.

37
0

Re: OMG. Feds gather evidence of actual crime, get court warrant and arrest actual suspect

Yes, I came here to say this. It's so good to read about some really good police work. Don't cut corners, put the effort in, make sure it passes all legal requirements. They even went beyond the minimum needed to nab him, setting up CCTV and monitoring the network to 100% pin it on him, and all done legally! Fantastic!

I guess the only problem is the cost. If he hadn't made himself such a high profile target would the police have been allocated the resources to find him? It makes me think of The Wire and the constant struggle for the funds to do good police work. It was only when something was high profile that the police were given a blank cheque to do the job properly.

23
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG. Feds gather evidence of actual crime, get court warrant and arrest actual suspect

> OMG. Feds gather evidence of actual crime, get court warrant and arrest actual suspect

Yup, it's actually quite a nice use of the tool to be honest. Especially as his demands for video made life much easier for them - they didn't need to trick him into opening a file, just provide something that appeared to be what he'd asked for.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG. Feds gather evidence of actual crime, get court warrant and arrest actual suspect

" It was only when something was high profile that the police were given a blank cheque to do the job properly."

All it would need is to divert 1% of the military budget into domestic policing (but not for military equipment or training I might add) and their funding issues would disappear overnight.

0
0
Silver badge

What a tw@...

He sounds like a really really awful Bond villain. Hopefully he'll get what he deserves in the clink.

3
7
Silver badge

> The NIT involves a specially crafted video file – such as this one

I was half expecting to be Rick rolled there.

12
0
Silver badge

Gawd bless Media Player

Well, if people will use Media Player . . .

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Gawd bless Media Player

If he's using a TOR environment, such as Tails, it's going to be your friendly Linux player that's sent the info.

1
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Gawd bless Media Player

So let me get this straight - he was only caught because he failed to realize that his Tor-specific browser connects out through Tor but anything else like a media player might not...? Heaven have mercy on us then if any baddy with half a clue ever comes along...

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Gawd bless Media Player

I think most of the time when you read a complicated account of how police finally caught up to a determined bad guy you can spot one or two ex post facto "if they had done this differently they'd still be free" holes. The perp has to get everything right, all the time.

One slipup is enough for a case like this where significant resources are brought to bear. Doesn't even have to be his own slipup, as the more complicated his software setup to avoid detection the greater the chance something he uses has a bug that could prove to be his undoing.

If you get down to it, if one out of a hundred guys doing what he's doing is smart enough to take everything into account and remain free, being able to catch 99 out of 100 would still be pretty damn good. Police work is a game of numbers, not perfection. If there were four burglars plying their trade where I live, I'd rather the cops caught the three that were easy to catch, instead of putting all their resources into trying to catch the Night Fox while those three run free.

4
0

Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

Although I'm really never going to be pursued for anything by an agency like this (due to not being an absolute scumbag) it interests me that they release the specifics of these investigations. Surely the more this gets talked about the less effective it will be?

If I was to become a paedophile extortionist I'd add to my 'list of things to be careful about' : don't use windows media player* and suddenly this technique becomes useless.

I don't know how the system works, do they have to reveal these things to justify the existence of the evidence?

* I mean, if it doesn't play in VLC you don't touch it anyway right?

2
0

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

Maybe they already thought of that, and this is the technique they want you to *think* they use, to distract miscreants from the actual technique they use.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

> 'list of things to be careful about' : don't use windows media player*

> ....

> * I mean, if it doesn't play in VLC you don't touch it anyway right?

I've got bad news for you :)

At least one of the techniques that can be used for this works just fine in VLC too. You'd be better off sticking with something like ffplay and using various flags to lock things down (or inspecting the file with ffprobe first). Obviously the 100% certain way, though, is not to be an exploitative scumbag in the first place.

6
0
Silver badge

" it interests me that they release the specifics of these investigations."...

... My guess, they aren't revealing the full story and/or are lying about the details using the 'parallel construction' approach.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

> Obviously the 100% certain way, though, is not to be an exploitative scumbag in the first place.

Recent events elsewhere suggest that might be an overly optimistic point of view.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

What would happen if a scumbag just disconnects from the internet before accessing any media?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

> Recent events elsewhere suggest that might be an overly optimistic point of view.

Aye, that's a fair point.

> What would happen if a scumbag just disconnects from the internet before accessing any media?

It depends on the mechanism used to be honest. If you're using the old-fashioned tell the player it's a DRM encumbered file and please fetch the license from URL, then depending on the player, it'll fail to play and tell them they need to be online.

That might scare the scumbag off playing it, or if they're suitably stupid (or so horny at the thought of the video they're not thinking straight), they may go online again to play back.

Some players may realise that the video isn't actually encrypted and play it back anyway.

Other techniques, though, may simply queue a request in the player, which'll be placed when said scumbag reconnects.

All that, of course, is assuming they don't write it to a USB stick and take it to an airgapped PC with a player on it.

0
0
Silver badge

15-30

Probably most of that will be spent in isolation for his own protection from the inmates, pity, being somebody's bitch would be poetic justice.

2
14

Re: 15-30

Probably most of that will be spent in isolation for his own protection from the inmates, pity, being somebody's bitch would be poetic justice.

Such a shame people come out with these types of comments.

Jail time is supposed to be the punishment. If it isn't a punishment that is a separate social / justice issue.

How would it be if you went to jail for something and were subjected to a daily prostate exam by Bubba* using his 'medical equipment'? Would it be OK and acceptable as part of your punishment, or would it be rape and you would demand that action be taken to stop it happening? Should Bubba* get extra time on his sentence for raping you or should yours be reduced because of the extra 'punishment'.

At the end of the day this guy deserves prison but him 'being someones bitch would be poetic justice' is just sick.

You should consider as well that your are inciting the crime of male rape** to take place so it will (presumably) make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside at the thought of him getting what he deserves. You must sleep well knowing how well balanced you are with this kind of attitude.

Based on the article the guy also has some personality disorders by the way he taunted the authorities so that's alright then - he deserves what he gets.

*Note: Bubba is a fictional character and is unrelated to anyone alive or dead and is used for illustrative purposes only.

** Someones bitch in prison is, by context, inferring that specific actions relating to sexual assault would take place

17
2
Silver badge

Re: 15-30

Inciting male rape? No. Commenting on what is likely to happen ? Yes.

Bearing: n mind the vicious nature of his threats to these kids, they may well.be scarred.fo life ( a life sentence if you will) for doing nothing more than being young and naive or gullible.

I am.unable to feel sorry for people like this and I doubt this guy is so much ill as evil.

There is a place for forgiveness, this isn't it. Just being in prison for this kind of scumbag is not punishment enough.

7
12
Silver badge

Re: 15-30

Justice is based on four pillars with imprisonment as a measure available to those tasked with administering justice. Reformation, Protection of the public, Punishment and Deterrant.

What you, and many other commentards, are focused on here is Revenge. It isn't justice is it? Revenge, in fact, can be considered a crime in and of itself; taking law into your own hands. Now, you might say that when the law fails what you believe is its duty then its fine to go mob-handed and vigilante, but that's just anarchy; what you and your neighbor believe is punishable are likely to be two different things quite often. Fundamentalist nutcases and mass shooters are revenge types, taking retribution or delivering punishment to those that do not conform to their thinking.

Revenge is not a hallmark of a civilized society. Revenge is reactionary and not logical.

15
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: 15-30

Then what's the difference between punishment and revenge? Punishment should fit the crime, not be a vacation. Getting free food, housing for a couple years for ruining others lives, is not punishment and not a deterrent. Revenge is when the victim goes after the criminal, not when punishment is delt out by others. I have no problem with either. If you cause suffering to others, you bring in upon yourself - period.

I'm rather disgusted with the amount of people on here that support those who commit crimes against children.

2
15
Anonymous Coward

Re: 15-30

I'm rather disgusted with the amount of people on here that support those who commit crimes against children.

There is a fundamental difference between protecting the human rights and dignity of a criminal (or an alleged criminal) and condoning the crimes (or the alleged crimes) they have commited.

It makes me sad having to explain this distinction to a presumably intelligent and responsible adult.

5
1
Silver badge

Re: 15-30

"I'm rather disgusted with the amount of people on here that support those who commit crimes against children."

So, I am against the crime of prison rape and reject revenge as a just process, so therefore I am a supporter of those who commit crimes against children?

Do you know what a false dilemma is? Logic fail, that's what.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

5
0
Silver badge

Re: 15-30

To add to the already well written responses to calling for extra-judicial rape: Karma is not a zero sum game.

If you believe in Karma, wishing someone else ill (no matter what they've done) is registered on *your* balance, not theirs.

For the record, and the dim of understanding, I most certainly do not condone abuse of children in any way. I personally believe that the assassination of innocence and the creation of broken people who are at high risk of going on to perpetuate the same kind of crimes as were committed to them is one of the most heinous crime you can commit.

Crimes against children are a crime against the future of the human race. However, that still does not justify wishing the same kind of punishment on those that commit these crimes, however just (poetic or otherwise) it might seem. People tend to lose sight of the damage they do to themselves when indulging in such fantasies - that is Karma.

2
1
Silver badge

"regularly accessing 4chan"

Is that a known sign of a nonce?

3
2
Bronze badge

Re: "regularly accessing 4chan"

Yes.

2
5
Bronze badge

Re: "regularly accessing 4chan"

I see that there are a lot of nonces reading El Reg.

4
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing