Computer Repairman Jailed after 'Peeping Tom' Spyware Spree

Dennis Faas's picture

A Fullerton, California computer repair technician is in hot water after allegedly using spyware to peep on college dorm women using their web cameras. Police arrested 20-year-old Trevor Harwell after launching a 9 month investigation that started back in September of 2010.

Harwell, who also attended the same college as the victims has posted a $50,000 bond and denies the claims. (Source:

Computer Message Instructs User to 'Fix Internal Sensor' Using Steam

Dorm residents noticed messages appearing on their laptop computers, telling them to "fix their internal sensor soon" or risk encountering other problems with their system later on. The investigation revealed that the messages were linked to specially crafted, hidden software (spyware) that operated laptop web cameras by remote.

The software was nothing more than a ruse designed to collect pictures of victims in a compromised position. Harwell, a technician working for Rezitech Inc., is believed to have exploited computers connected to the internal network of Biola University, a private evangelical Christian university in La Miranda, California. (Source:

It's alleged that Harwell programmed the bogus internal sensor message and followed it up with a second instructional warning that suggested the women "try putting (their) laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

As expected, some victims took take their laptops into the bathroom with them as they showered, reasoning that it was one of the most accessible steam sources when attempting to correct the supposed issue.

"Hundreds of Thousands" of Scandalous Files Seized

As Fullerton police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich lamented, "Once he (Harwell) had access, he would take photographs of the users. Often, the female victims were undressed or changing clothes." He then stored the photographs on a remote server and eventually downloaded them onto his personal computer. (Source:

Harwell now faces 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud after detectives seized "hundreds of thousands" still images and videos from his document library.

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