Hundreds of citizens and children spied at home and in the gym, the pictures for sale for 20 euros: the accusations against the hacker network

However, the postal police are investigating in different properties unauthorized access to the computer system and criminal association, eleven people, alleged members of two different groups accused of spying on the intimate lives of hundreds of private citizens, including children, and of selling the keys to access the images for a few tens of euros. The public prosecutor’s office in Milan is assessing the possibility of crime profiles linked to pornography. This morning they were completed ten searches between Rome, Ragusa, Trieste, Milan, Maranello and Alessandria. The operation coordinated by the Milan prosecutor’s office was called “Rear window”.

The defendant wanted that, according to the investigation hacked video surveillance systems installed in homes, changing rooms in swimming pools and gyms and in doctors’ offices. There are ten Italians and one Ukrainian citizen, without specific precedents and aged between 20 and 56 years. All with high computer skills. The investigations lasted over a year, the charge is for conspiracy and unauthorized access to the computer system. According to investigators, the groups had been active for about three years. The pictures were sold via chat created on VKontakte, known as the Russian version of Facebook and Telegram. For 20 euros. With an additional 20 euros, you could access a “Vip” version that allowed you to directly access passwords to access the individual infringing cameras. The chats had over 10 thousand users, the premium users about two thousand users.

The investigations began after the report of a citizen who recognized a video recording in the locker room of a swimming pool in Brianza, and after the forensic analysis on the smartphone, which was seized by a man accused of child pornography as part of a collaboration with New York . Zealand Police. The groups were organized in detail: computer experts searched the network for video surveillance systems connected to the Internet and attacked them when they were found; other controlled type of systems, the framed environments and the quality of the footage to identify cameras that filmed “particularly” intimate “places such as bathrooms and bedrooms with the goal of filming victims during intercourse or self-erotic acts.

The login information was put up for sale online, the images announced through video clips that lasted a few seconds. The proceeds were reinvested in the purchase of increasingly up-to-date software for other cyber attacks. One group had also invested 50,000 euros in bitcoin. At the conclusion of the searches, investigators conducted seized 10 smartphones, 3 workstations, 5 laptops, 12 hard drives and various cloud storage: a total of over 50 terabytes of material. In addition, everyone is social account used by the suspects to commit criminal behavior and several thousand euros, also in cryptocurrency.

Deputy Prosecutor Eugenio Fusco spoke about “Worrying and especially widespread phenomenon” and that in the specific case it had been “Created a business about human morbidity for stolen photos of privacy”. The investigation was also coordinated by Deputy Prosecutor Letizia Mannella and by Deputy Bianca Maria Baj Macario, Giovanni Tarzia and Francesca Gentilini. Some suspects would have boasted about the inefficiency of the investigations and would have argued that even in the case of a complaint, the authorities would not have conducted in-depth and complex computer investigations.

The leaders of Milan’s postal police, Tiziana Liguori and Rocco Nardulli, have also elaborated a kind of handbook aimed at citizens who have surveillance camera systems connected to the network. It is advisable to change the default passwords for the installation, to avoid framing intimate places such as bedrooms and bathrooms, not to use this type of systems to monitor children. “Better to rely on specific products for the purpose that are not connected to the Internet”. This type of system must then be constantly exposed to software updates.

Professional journalist. He attended studied and graduated in languages. He attended the Suor Orsola Benincasa School of Journalism in Naples. He collaborated with the news agency AdnKronos. He has written about sports, culture, entertainment.

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