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Hacker Faces 105 Years In Prison After Blackmailing 350+ Women 473

redletterdave writes "According to the 30-count indictment released by the Central District of California, 27-year-old hacker Karen 'Gary' Kazaryan allegedly hacked his way into hundreds of online accounts, using personal information and nude or semi-nude photos of his victims to coerce more than 350 female victims to show him their naked bodies, usually over Skype. By posing as a friend, Kazaryan allegedly tricked these women into stripping for him on camera, capturing more than 3,000 images of these women to blackmail them. Kazaryan was arrested by federal agents on Tuesday; if convicted on all 30 counts, including 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, Kazaryan could face up to 105 years in federal prison."
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Hacker Faces 105 Years In Prison After Blackmailing 350+ Women

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  • Obvious moral (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:12PM (#42740581) Homepage

    Just like in the Anthony Wiener scandal, the clear bit of advice to come out of this: Never, ever, ever transmit pictures of yourself over a computer network with fewer clothes on than you'd wear in public.

    I'm sure some people find that kind of thing fun, but the simple fact is that the damage is greater than getting many STDs.

  • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canadiannomad ( 1745008 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:24PM (#42740779) Homepage

    This is true, and it means that justice will probably be served in his case. But the problem I see is using the extortion of long sentences to force a plea bargain to avoid time in court. That is in my opinion where there is something going wrong with the system, and that we should all be worried about it.
    In my opinion plea bargains are just begging to be abused by the system and creates a mockery of due process.

  • "begging to"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gatfirls ( 1315141 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:30PM (#42740867)
    That ship sailed long ago. Coincidentally, our system of 'due process' is basically one massive blackmail racket. If things operated as intended it would be an invaluable tool for the courts and the defendants to provide a win/win. In our completely perverted system charges are trumped up to the maximum (even completely fabricated) levels to force a plea.
  • by kawabago ( 551139 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:31PM (#42740879)
    We don't.
  • Re:Obvious moral (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alphatel ( 1450715 ) * on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:35PM (#42740919)

    "I'm sure some people find that kind of thing fun, but the simple fact is that the damage is greater than getting many STDs." Not really. The only possible damage is a little embarrassment. We shouldn't be sending someone to prison over violating someone's sense of modesty and embarrassing them. There is an offense there but an action that does no more harm than potentially stirring up an emotion shouldn't result in effectively permanently destroying the life of the person doing it (which prison time does regardless of duration).

    Nude photo: Embarrassing for victim. 20 years in a federal penitentiary for the felon.
    Breaking and Entering with Assault: Mental Anguish, Nightmares, Lost property or broken bones for victim. Probation for the perp.
    Nice system.

  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:39PM (#42740977)

    You're FSM-right we don't. We're supposed to be the good guys here.

    This asshole (allegedly) blackmailed 350 people. I say allegedly because he hasn't been convicted in a court of law, which again, is the way we do things around here. You know, in motherfucking civilization.

    This is not the victim's fault. What the hell is wrong with you people?

  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:49PM (#42741145) Journal
    "Why? Then you just trivialize what he did and make it so other people can do this."

    Because what he did was trivial. He tricked some girls into letting him see them naked. OMG. They are just bodies for god sake we all have them and they will all show them to hundreds of guys over the course of their life and regret many of those times. But but he LIED. Yes he lied and those same girls will no doubt have been lied to by every guy they sleep with to some degree or another. All men are willing to lie or withhold, or otherwise twist the truth to get laid.

    What he did is morally reprehensible but hardly criminal. It makes him worthy of despising and calling a pig but then so would a more severe action like cheating on a girlfriend.

    "a $500 fine for criminally using someone else's account? No way"

    He didn't use someone's bank account. He used their social networking account in a way that results in absolutely no tangible damage to anyone. The bar for identity theft can't just be pretending to be someone else in a harmless prank and if that is going to be the bar then yes the punishments have to dropped to something appropriate for a harmless prank. What next? If he pretends to be a friend confirming his alibi to his girlfriend/wife on the phone so he can sleep around we charge him with identity theft and communications fraud?
  • by Algae_94 ( 2017070 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:50PM (#42741185) Journal
    Of course, because convincing some marks to send you nude photos of themselves and then blackmailing them is totally equivalent to repeated violent rape. How can you even pretend to be appalled by this guy's actions when you would like an even worse penalty for him?
  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:53PM (#42741229)

    I mean, they already were posting nude images of themselves, what would they care if they had it posted in a few more places on the internet.

    Two problems there.

    First, they were not posting images of themselves on the open Internet. They were storing images of themselves online, in, as they say, "the cloud," behind password access. Which the suspect allegedly hacked.

    Second, your suggestion that possessing nude photos of one's self voids one's expectation of privacy is sexist and objectionable.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:03PM (#42741399) Homepage Journal

    So, let me get this straight...
    This shmoe could face up to 105 years because of "XX" number of counts of the exact same crime.

    By that way of thinking, each perpetrator of the LIBOR fixing scandal committed acts which affected millions or perhaps billions of people. Shouldn't THEIR sentence be something then on the order of millions of years of prison?

    And yet, NOT ONE person is going to go to jail for LIBOR. Aaron committed suicide over his potential 50 years, for downloading some crap, but LIBOR guys are going to have their banks pay a small fine, they are still going to get their bonuses, corner offices, mansions, Ferraris, Yachts and hot babes in bikinis.

    Dude, if your going to commit a crime, think big -- as in "too big to fail", "too big to prosecute" -- Frankly, if Lance Armstrong had just been Lance Armstrong Bank, he'd still have all his medals, and everyone would still be doing business with him, because they'd have no choice.

  • by JeanCroix ( 99825 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:18PM (#42741635) Journal

    Second, your suggestion that possessing nude photos of one's self voids one's expectation of privacy is sexist and objectionable.

    How is it sexist? He could have just as easily been blackmailing men here...

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:27PM (#42741785)

    What it comes down to is this:

    It is not the victim's fault that they got robbed or raped or whatever at any time.

    However, society cannot prevent and cannot be responsible for preventing it from happening. There are animals out there and just telling them to respect your right to dress how you want isn't going to change the fact that they are animals and possibly mentally unbalanced.

    So, it is not the victim's fault that they are a victim, but they cannot rely on that to prevent them from becoming a victim, and if they do, they are fools. Reasonable arguments only work on reasonable people. Criminals and particularly criminally insane people are not reasonable. Dress to match the environment you are in and maintain situational awareness of your environment and the dangers.

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:53PM (#42742117)

    He is exactly the kind of person that we WANT taken out of society.

    Speak for yourself. I think you are the sociopath. I have empathy for everyone involved here. The girls have learned an important lesson about how information tends to escape and about trusting people too much. The guy has probably already learned his lesson, but a month in jail or restitution of, say, $200 to each victim would probably suffice for punishment.

    It's amazing to me that the US is supposed to be a Christian country. Christianity is supposed to be about kindness and forgiveness. Not about hanging everyone who behaves in a manner you don't approve of. I'm an atheist myself and even I am shocked and saddened by the enthusiasm with which my country pursues punishment as if just imprisoning or executing enough people will solve every problem. This case is more about petty vengeance than any sort of real justice. Justice would be posting nude photos of him on the internet. After all that is what he threatened to do to them. An eye for an eye and all that.

  • Re:"begging to"? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:55PM (#42742141)

    If you are innocent that means you do not regret your crime, so you will get the full sentence, while someone who actually did something can repent and get a much lower sentence. So being innocent is sadly a very dangerous thing to risk a court decision with.

    captcha: socked

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @06:38PM (#42743701)

    You can be the victim and not be innocent.
    This is the problem with Black Market activities. Both sides are breaking the law, so if one side breaks the deal there is little recourse to prevent it. However at some point the crime is worth more for the victim to complain while they may get punished for their crime, but the victimizer may get a lot more.

  • Re:I HATE this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @07:44PM (#42744389)

    What if he had blackmailed 1,000 women? 10,000 women? 100,000 women? How many blackmailed and recorded strip tease sessions would he have to have forced women into before he deserved life?

    There is no number. He could 'blackmail' an infinite number of people and it wouldn't merit significantly more punishment in my view than a single one. Any other view would be consistent with hanging habitual, serial shoplifters. Something I would regard as barbaric and far, far worse than the original crimes. At some point, draconian punishments themselves become more of a crime than the original act. This is one such case. If this guy gets any significant amount of jail time I would consider him more of a victim than any of the women.

    Would you feel this crime was minor if the blackmail had led to a suicide?

    I would still consider the crime to be a relatively minor one, but it would become more serious with a suicide since it would show that the act, even though it was minor, resulted in serious harm to that particular individual. I would consider him partially responsible for her death.

    I would still judge the girl in question badly however because having a nude picture posted to your facebook account is an unbelievably silly thing to kill yourself over. You may as well kill yourself over a broken nail. If she was that sensitive it would have been only a matter of time before she had killed herself anyway. If being seen naked by some of her friends makes her kill herself just imagine what she would do if a boyfriend that she liked broke up with her?

    A teacher would be fired if such pictures get posted publicly, and there are many other companies which may do so as well.

    That injustice would not be the man's fault. If you want to punish someone for harming the teacher, punish the people at the school or company responsible for such stupidity. You can't hold the guy responsible for the harmful behavior of others.

    Could you not see how this could ruin various peoples lives?

    No I can't. I have had far more embarrassing things happen to me and it didn't ruin my life in any way whatsoever. I was just embarrassed. It's not the end of the world. There is nothing wrong or shameful about nudity. We all have relatively similar bodies. It's just not a big deal. And I am speaking as someone ashamed of my body. I wish I had a beautiful body that I would be sufficiently proud of to post online to anyone, but I don't.

    How many lives would need to be hurt and by how much before it becomes a major crime?

    I don't think a 'crime' as minor as this could ever become a major crime no matter how many 'victims'.

    Then again, if you don't feel inflicting emotional trauma on people can ever be serious, then I am glad you are not a lawmaker or judge, and saddened that you may serve in a jury.

    Emotional trauma over being seen naked? That's almost funny. If anyone is that sensitive then they have far larger problems already. I think it would cause far greater emotional trauma to know that you were partially responsible for taking the life of another human being because you were bothered about being seen naked.

    Emotional trauma can always be argued. Does a man cheating on his wife cause emotional trauma and would it be more than being accidentally seen naked? Should we be filling our prisons with cheating husbands and wives? With anyone who has ever lied to someone who loved them? How about anyone who breaks up with someone who loves them? Should we just hang them all? Put them in prison for the rest of their lives?

    I still feel emotional pain over my first girlfriend breaking up with me 20 years ago. Should she be jailed for the hurt she has caused me? Okay, it would be satisfying in a way, but I wouldn't want to live in a society where every time someone is hurt emotionally the person who ca

  • Re:I HATE this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:47PM (#42745761)

    1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    3. statutory rape.
    4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

    The dictionary disagrees with you. You don't get to redefine words just because you want something to sound exceedingly awful. If there's no intercourse, it's not rape. That doesn't mean it's not terrible and wrong, but it does mean you have to find a different word if you want to be taken seriously.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.