Police: Mac tech installed spyware to photograph women
Hired to fix computers with spyware, a Los Angeles man was arrested when he was caught installing spyware software on his client’s computers that apparently took candid photos of women in various states of undress.
Trevor Harwell, a 20 year old technician who had been hired to fix computers, instead installed spyware software that took candid photos of his clients as they were undressed. Harwell, a Mac specialist working for a computer repair company Rezitech (located in the Los Angeles area), apparently installed spy software called Camcapture on his client’s computers.
Harwell would set up a complex system that would notify him whenever it was ready to snap a shot using the computer’s webcam. “It would let his server know that the victim’s machine was on. The server would then notify his smartphone… and then the images were recorded on his home computer,” a spokesman with the Fullerton Police Department in California.
Police found thousands of images on Harwell’s computers and have identified several of the victims. The victims? All women located in the Los Angeles and Orange County area.
So how did he get caught? A Rezitech customer took her computer into an Apple Genius Bar for servicing when a wierd message poped up on the screen. One of messages, which was designed to look like a Mac OSX system warning, said, “You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor.” The Genius Bar technician, being the genius that he is, figured something was wrong and searched the computer and eventually found the Camcapture software on the victim’s computer. “You need to call police,” the Genius Bar technician had said.
She wasn’t the only person to get this particular message. Some victims, tricked by the pop-up warning, did take their computers with them into the shower.
Harwell was a student at Biola University, which is a small Christian university in southern California. Many of the victims were Biola students and Harwell may have compromised university systems as well, police said.
Think you might have been compromised too? Look for the Camcapture software here: /Library/WebServer/Documents folder.Further reading: Mac, Off Topic, Security