George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Go down

Normal George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by Nama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:43 pm



In a cautionary tale for users of social-networking sites, a California man has admitted using personal information he gleaned from Facebook to hack into women's e-mail accounts, then send nude pictures of them to everyone in their address book.
The California attorney general's office said Friday that George Bronk, 23, commandeered the e-mail accounts of dozens of women in the U.S. and England. He then scanned the women's "sent" folders for nude and seminude photos and videos, and forwarded any he found to all the women's contacts, prosecutors said.
Bronk coerced one woman into sending him more explicit photographs by threatening to distribute the pictures he already had. One victim told authorities the intrusion felt like "virtual rape."
Bronk, who lives in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights, pleaded guilty Thursday to seven felonies in Sacramento County Superior Court, including computer intrusion, false impersonation and possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors are seeking a six-year prison term when Bronk returns for a sentencing evaluation March 10.
His attorney, Monica Lynch of Roseville, called her client a "23-year-old boy going on 15."
"He's accepted full responsibility. It's a tragic situation," she said.
Lynch said she will argue for less than a six-year sentence.
Prosecutors said Bronk would scan women's Facebook accounts looking for those who posted their e-mail addresses. He would then study their Facebook postings to learn the answers to common security questions like their favorite color or father's middle name.
He contacted the women's e-mail providers and used the information to gain control of their accounts. He also often gained control of their Facebook accounts by hijacking their passwords, then posted compromising photographs on their Facebook pages and other Internet sites.
"This case highlights the fact that anyone with an e-mail account is vulnerable to identity theft," Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement announcing Bronk's guilty plea.
Investigators found 172 e-mail files containing explicit photographs of women when they searched Bronk's computer in September, according to a court affidavit. They were able to track his victims to England, Washington, D.C., and 17 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
"He is a sick individual," said 22-year-old Danielle Piscak of Parkland, Wash., one of Bronk's victims.
Piscak said one of her friends alerted her that nude photographs she had sent privately to her husband were posted on her Facebook page last fall. Facebook removed the photos the next day.
"I have a network of like 1,500 people, so they all saw my pictures. So my graduating class of 2007 saw that. I'm in the military, so all my army friends saw that," Piscak said. She had to explain the embarrassing situation to her family and husband, from whom she is separated.
Piscak used a different e-mail account to contact the person who had hacked her page.
"I said, 'Why are you doing this?' and he said, 'Because it's funny,'" Piscak said in a telephone interview. The Associated Press does not identify victims in sex cases as a matter of policy, but Piscak gave permission for her name to be used. She also said she has agreed to tell her story on a nationally televised talk show.
Piscak said she fears the postings could harm her future in the military and her plans for a career in criminal justice, though most people who saw the photos were understanding.
A second victim, Stephanie, 24, of Los Angeles, said she, the FBI and other authorities tried for seven hours to remove an album of 10 photographs that Bronk posted on her account before Facebook took it down.
"Then he wrote just crass, racist, disgusting comments on people's walls that I was friends with," said Stephanie, who did not want her last name used for fear the story could harm her career. She said she felt violated, "kind of a rape-like situation."
Stephanie said she originally had sent the private photos to a boyfriend, only to have them seen by her college professors and co-workers.
Both of the victims, along with Bronk's attorney, said Facebook should have caught Bronk's activities more quickly. Facebook spokesmen did not return telephone or e-mail messages Friday.
Bronk began his hacking in December 2009, prosecutors said. He will have to register as a sex offender because of his guilty plea.
Investigators caught on after a victim called Connecticut State Police, which referred the complaint to the California Highway Patrol. They used information from Bronk's confiscated computer to e-mail questionnaires to 3,200 of his Internet contacts, asking if they had been victimized.
Forty-six women said they had. Bronk was arrested in October and remains jailed on $500,000 bond.
The attorney general's office advised those using e-mail and social-networking sites to pick security questions and answers that aren't posted on public sites, or to add numbers or other characters to common security answers. Additional safety tips are on the California attorney general's website.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
I've never been willing to sacrifice functionality for beauty ~ My Father
avatar
Nama
Administration
Administration

Join date : 2009-05-28

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by charminglane on Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:33 pm

Again, Facebook will lead to the downfall of civilization.
avatar
charminglane

Join date : 2009-05-28

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:42 am

He would then study their Facebook postings to learn the answers to common security questions like their favorite color or father's middle name.
I don't post stuff like that.
He contacted the women's e-mail providers and used the information to gain control of their accounts. He also often gained control of their Facebook accounts by hijacking their passwords, then posted compromising photographs on their Facebook pages and other Internet sites.
faint
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by Nama on Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:33 am

3/10/2011

A man accused of violating the online privacy of women by making public their intimate photos was portrayed Thursday by his lawyer as a naive, bored young person who had a drinking problem and didn't recognize the public embarrassment he was causing.
Defense attorney Monica Lynch said her client George Bronk was immature, unemployed and killing time while he cared for his ailing parents and made a hobby of trolling women's Facebook pages, looking for their e-mails and gleaning enough personal information to answer basic Internet security questions.
He would then search for nude or seminude photos and videos the women had sent to their husbands or boyfriends, and distribute the images to the contact lists of the women, authorities said.
Bronk, 23, pleaded guilty in January to charges including computer intrusion, false impersonation and possession of child pornography. The state attorney general's office wants him to serve six years in prison. A probation officer is recommending four years behind bars.
Lynch said her client should get probation.

Read more:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
I've never been willing to sacrifice functionality for beauty ~ My Father
avatar
Nama
Administration
Administration

Join date : 2009-05-28

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by TerryRose on Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Just an aside here: a 12 year old grandchild instant chat on Facebook had obviously been hacked and sent continuous messages telling the FB friends to check out a website. I think one must beware of the applications one signs up for, this is an avenue, I think, where the hacking can occur.
avatar
TerryRose

Join date : 2009-05-31

Back to top Go down

Normal UPDATE: George Bronk Sentenced To More Than 4 Years For Facebook Stalking

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu May 23, 2013 12:55 am

07/22/11

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

A California man who trolled women's Facebook pages searching for clues that allowed him to take over their email accounts was sentenced Friday to more than four years in state prison after a judge rejected a plea for a lighter sentence and likened the man to a peeping Tom.

Once he took over women's email accounts, George Bronk searched their folders for nude or semi-nude photographs or videos sent to their husbands or boyfriends and distributed the images to their contact list, prosecutors said.

The emails went to families, friends and co-workers. Women in 17 states, the District of Columbia and England were victimized.

"This case serves as a stark example of what occurs in so-called cyberspace. It has very real consequences," Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown said. "The intrusion of one's profile is no different than intruding one's home."

Bronk, 24, pleaded guilty in January to charges that included computer intrusion, false impersonation and possession of child pornography.

Brown sentenced him to four years in state prison for the charges related to the Facebook and email offenses, and added eight more months for charges related to child pornography.

Bronk's attorney, Monica Lynch, said her client took responsibility for his actions and showed remorse. She had sought a sentence of one year in local jail with probation afterward, or two years in state prison with no probation.

Brown based his decision on a sentencing recommendation by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The evaluation stated that Bronk demonstrated remorse and quoted the self-identified alcoholic as saying, "If I could go back with the knowledge that I have now, I would not have done any of the things I did."

But the state expressed concern about his lack of understanding about the severity of his crime and noted Bronk had demonstrated "a high degree of callousness." The evaluation said he used the child pornographic videos and images "as an instrument designed to inflict pain and humiliation on the very people he stole the images from."

Bronk was living in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights taking care of his ailing parents in December 2009 when he began scanning Facebook with the intent of taking over email accounts. The practice continued until last September.

He looked for email accounts on Facebook pages then gleaned enough personal information from postings to answer basic security questions, such as the name of an elementary school or favorite color.

After he changed passwords and took over accounts, Bronk would search folders for compromising photos and distribute them publicly, prosecutors said.

He even taunted some of the women in online exchanges and coerced at least one into sending him more explicit photographs by threatening to distribute the pictures he already had.

Danielle Piscak, 22, of Parkland, Wash., told The Associated Press earlier this year that she was able to contact the person who had hacked into her email account and ask why he was doing it. She said Bronk's reply was, "Because it's funny."

The case illustrates the vulnerability of all Internet users, said prosecuting attorney Robert Morgester of the state attorney general's office.

"The victims we went to said `I had very robust passwords.' But it didn't matter how robust the password was if the recovery question is easy," he said. "Lost your password? What's your favorite color or what high school did you go to? Or what's your dog's name? And he was able to glean that information from social media."

Investigators used information from Bronk's confiscated computer to email questionnaires to 3,200 of his Internet contacts, asking if they had been victimized. Forty-six women said they had.

Investigators also said they found 172 email files with explicit photographs on Bronk's computer.

Lynch has said her client was immature, unemployed and bored while he cared for his parents.

His parents declined comment after the sentencing.

At a hearing earlier this year, his mother, Joyce Bronk, said her son told them he needed help for a drinking problem then began attending Alcoholics Anonymous and taking classes to be trained as an emergency medical technician.

"This was an Internet persona he created when he was a drunk," she said at the time as a way to explain his actions.

In seeking a lighter sentence, his parents offered in a letter to take away Internet access as a condition of releasing him back to their custody.

Authorities started investigating after one victim called Connecticut State Police, which referred the complaint to the California Highway Patrol.

Victims turned up in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Bronk was arrest in October.

He had hoped to become a paramedic but will not be able to because he will have to register as a sex offender as a result of his crimes, his attorney said.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
along comes a spider to sit down beside ya


Be Humble For You Are Made Of Earth~Be Noble For You Are Made Of Stars
avatar
NiteSpinR
Tech Support Admin
Tech  Support  Admin

Join date : 2009-05-30

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by Wrapitup on Thu May 23, 2013 10:55 am

A Paramedic? GMAB!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Make your FB PRIVATE. For the younger set..Please don't post any pics on FB you would not want your parents, employer or prospective employer to see. Employers look at your FB prior to hiring. Also, as this thread shows..it's NOT SAFE!

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: George Bronk used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum