Reyes Daniel Ruiz, an ex-yahoo! employee has pleaded guilty and accepted that he misused his access at Yahoo! to hack into nearly 6000 women’s accounts that used the website to search their personal and private records. His primary aim was to gather sexually unethical photos and videos.
In a press released note by the U.S Justice Department, the 34-year-old Californian and ex-Yahoo! software engineer, Ruiz admitted he accessed internal systems of his former employing company and compromising the accounts belonging to women which included those of his friends and colleagues.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California revealed that the accounts he targeted were primarily of younger women.
As soon as he had access to the Yahoo! accounts of the users, Ruiz misused he information he gathered from the emails and login access of their accounts to hack into their Gmail, iCloud, DropBox, Facebook and other accounts to collect even more explicitly private photos and videos.
Along with this, the federal prosecutors revealed that Ruiz dared to go even further and make copies of those photos and videos that he sourced from the users without their knowledge, consent or permission and then stored them on his private computer at his residence.
However, Ruiz destroyed his computer along with the hard drive that had all the photos and videos to erase proofs after one of his co-workers at Yahoo! noticed suspicious account activity.
A federal grand jury charged Ruiz on 4th April with one count of personal computer intrusion along with another count of intercepting a wire communication.
Although under the agreement of the plea, Ruiz pleaded guilty only to the single count of computer intrusion, which alone can land him in jail for five years with a hefty $250,000 restitution fine for the victims.
A research done in 2016 had found that over one-third of the employees routinely violated the law this way just not to the extent of offences incurred by Ruiz. He is currently released on a bond of $200,000 and he awaits his sentence hearing to be held on 3rd February 2020.