The arrest of Mijangos, which was pursuant to a criminal complaint filed last week in United States District Court, follows a six-month FBI investigation into his involvement in computer hacking, identity theft, and video voyeurism.FBI computer forensics experts have determined Mijangos infected more than 100 computers that were used by approximately 230 individuals, at least 44 of whom were juveniles.Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
Mijangos also used stolen usernames and passwords to access victims’ e-mail and social networking sites to further his extortion scheme.
With his control of the victims’ computers and all of their functions, Mijangos was able to remotely access victims’ webcams and to turn them on from time to time in an attempt to catch the victims in intimate situations. During the execution of a search warrant at his residence, Mijangos was interviewed by FBI agents.
LOS ANGELES—A man who claims to be affiliated with an underground gang of hackers was arrested today on federal extortion charges that allege he hacked into dozens of computers, obtained personal data about people using the computers, and then demanded sexually explicit videos from female victims in exchange for keeping their personal information private.
Luis Mijangos, 31, of Santa Ana, California, was arrested without incident at his residence by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mijangos infected victim computers for a variety of purposes, according to the complaint, that outlines several lines of criminal conduct.
Once he had control of a computer, Mijangos searched for sexually explicit or intimate images and videos of women, typically young women and girls in various states of undress or engaged in sexual acts with their partners.
At first they figured it was some kind of malfunction, but when it happened repeatedly—the light flicking on, then off—the girls felt a chill. The more ubiquitous cameras become, the less we're aware they're even there. She ran into her bathroom and slammed the door behind her.
One by one, they gazed fearfully into the lenses, wondering if someone was watching and if, perhaps now, they were looking into the eye of something scary after all. They stare out at us blankly from our phones and laptops, our Xboxes and i Pads, a billion eyes and ears just waiting to be turned on. As she pleaded for the police to come quickly, she reached into the shower and cranked the water all the way up, hoping the hacker couldn't hear her.
According to the affidavit, Mijangos told one victim that she did not want to “mess” with a team of hackers.
Mijangos also installed a “keylogger” on victims’ computers that allowed him to record every key that was struck on the keyboards of the infected computers.
Mijangos would not have been possible without information provided by the Glendale Police Department, whose detectives worked this investigation jointly with FBI agents. Mijangos is alleged to have exploited new technology to exert control over young women whom he extorted, and many who were unwitting victims.” The affidavit in support of the complaint outlines a series of schemes that all involve Mijangos using peer-to-peer networks to infect computers around the world with malicious computer code.