Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) seizes two internet hackers on Friday who developed a hacking software app that illegally retrieves Photobucket.com user information.
The culprits are known to be Brandon Bourret, aged 39, a resident of Colorado Springs and Athanasios Andrianakis, 26, from Sunnyville California, both face counterfeit charges from selling an app named “Photofucket”. The service breaches into private images and videos of the users that are preserved by the image and video hosting website. The penetration uses a guest password that simulates user’s entry to the account and to the albums. This application switches to public display in Photobucket search results and the user Profile page. Moreover it also allows other Photofucket consumers to gain access to other accounts through transferring passwords, says Department of Justice (DOJ).
The suspects allegedly connived to commit transgressions against United States laws, including internet fraud acts, illicit device breaching, and identification forgery. The application has been on the table for 3 years already.
Federal law stipulates serious charges against this kind of offenses where owner acknowledgement is not present. During the ongoing investigation, victims and private albums are specified. In result, DOJ asserts a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment together with a fine up to $250,000 from one count of computer scam and another count of conspiracy. In addition, the two men are charged with two counts of illegitimate access to devices which raises the imprisonment period to 10 years and doubling up the original fines. Moreover, FBI encourages Photobucket to collaborate with the case and avowefforts for the examination.
In this respect, Attorney John Walsh from the District of Colorado warns computer thefts stating, “It is not safe to hide behind your computer, breach corporate servers and line your own pockets by victimizing those who have a right to protected privacy on the internet.” The district attorney profoundly prosecutes violators under this case and stipulates not to do damage against innocent internet users.
This case is no different from past incidents coined “fusking”, where stolen private pictures of celebrities sprawled over internet. This placed similar sites like Myspace and Friendster to give an option to users in creating private folders that marks boundary from public access.
Moreover, Chief Technology Officer of Photobucket, Michael Clark says they are also on its pace of the investigation claiming fears over leaking of private photos and videos.
Photobucket is a leading entertainment host for images and videos that registers more than 10 billion images under its name. The commercial site serves personal and business services, including online transactions such as eBay, online auctions, and advertisements like Craigslist. Photobucket is a free-subscription sites that allows 2 GB photo and video storage, 10 GB worth of media sharing, plus an unlimited access to its features like picture editing, slideshow and Stories. The members upload about 4 million images and videos in collective retrieved from both Web and mobile devices.