Facebook Hacker Spreads Nasty Photos of Victims

Dennis Faas's picture

A recently-arrested hacker reportedly used personal information found on Facebook to access women's email accounts. He then used the access to acquire and distribute bare photos of his victims to everyone in their contact lists.

George Bronk, a 23-year-old Sacramento, California man, pleaded guilty to hacking dozens of email accounts, almost all of which were owned by females. According to reports from the Associated Press, Bronk was able to access the accounts by perusing Facebook for those who had posted a) their email addresses and b) lots of personal information, including their favorite recipes, their father's middle names, their most beloved colors, and even the names of their high school mascots.

Personal Info Used to Crack Email Identity Challenges

He then used this data to get by email identity challenges (which often ask questions like "What's your favorite food?"), posed when a user clicks "Forgot your password?" upon visiting an online email site.

Bronk's approach was remarkably successful: reports state he may have gained access to as many as 172 different email accounts, acquiring a wide variety of photographs showing his victims from at least 17 different U.S. states and England. (Source: cnet.com)

Once he'd hacked a Facebook account or email, Bronk went on mischievous rampages. Parkland, Washington's Danielle Piscak, just 22 years of age, found that Bronk had distributed exposed photos of her to 1,500 Facebook friends. Another victim reported Bronk used unsolicited Facebook access to post "crass, racist, disgusting comments on people's walls that I was friends with."

When asked by one victim why he had done such things, Bronk indicated he found the mayhem resulting from his actions funny. He's being held on $500,000 bail, making all of this one expensive joke. (Source: msn.com)

Experts Encourage Facebook Users to Protect Personal Data

There's no doubt that Bronk is the bad guy here, but there's also no contending the fact that, to a great extent, these Facebook users put themselves in harm's way. Neither posting a great deal of personal information nor sending photos of yourself in the buff over the web are particularly wise actions.

Experts are taking this opportunity to warn all users to be careful what they post on their Facebook walls, to be extremely vigilant in maximizing their Facebook privacy settings, to choose hard-to-crack email passwords and identity clues, and to not send nude photographs of themselves over the Internet.

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