Notorious 'revenge' pornster charged with hacking

2014-01-25 14:07
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Los Angeles - A notorious "revenge porn" website operator and another California man have been charged with stealing nude photos from hundreds of hacked e-mail accounts and posting the images online.

Hunter Moore, 27, who has been dubbed by some media outlets as "the most hated man on the internet", was arrested on Thursday at his home. FBI agents also arrested Charles Evens, 25, of the Studio City area of Los Angeles.

Evens pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court while Moore appeared in court in Sacramento but didn't enter a plea, US attorney's spokesperson Thom Mrozek said.

Both remained jailed.

A 15-count federal indictment issued this week in Los Angeles charges the men with conspiracy, computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting. They could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted.

From 2010 to 2012, Moore ran a website called isanyoneup.com that posted nude and explicit photos, including some submitted to the site by former lovers and spouses without the permission of the people in them. Alongside the photos, Moore included the name and other details of the people depicted.

Photos

The photos included an American Idol finalist, the daughter of a major Republican donor, and a woman in a wheelchair, according to a 2012 article on Moore in Rolling Stone magazine.

According to the indictment, Evens was paid for providing Moore with nude photos that he obtained by hacking or using other means to accessing hundreds of e-mail accounts.

In an e-mail to Moore, Evens said what he was doing was illegal, and in other e-mails, Moore offered to pay Evens $200 a week and asked him to use an anonymous PayPal account to avoid detection of the scheme, according to the indictment. Evens was paid as much as $900 at one time, prosecutors contend.

Moore told BBC that he made as much as $20 000 a month in advertising revenue.

He ignored cease-and-desist orders and scoffed at challenges to the ethics of his site, although in 2012 he finally sold the website to an anti-cyber bullying organisation, saying his notoriety had resulted in people sending him a flood of child pornography and other images.

But he defended the site as well, even though he acknowledged in the 2012 BBC interview that posting the photos could "definitely affect someone's livelihood".

"I just monetise people's mistakes that they made, and it's kind of a shady business. But if it wasn't me, somebody else was going to do it," he said.

Naked selfies

In a 2012 interview on CNN's Dr Drew show, a woman who called in to the show chastised Moore for refusing requests to remove naked selfies of her daughter and alleged they came from a hacked account.

"I'm sure she sent the pictures to a million different guys and just ended up on my site just like everybody else," Moore said, although he added that he didn't want to hurt her daughter.

"I'm sorry that your daughter was cyber raped. But, I mean, now she's educated on technology," he added.

Read more on:    us  |  hacking  |  internet
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