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Yahoo engineer sentenced for hacking 6,000 email accounts in search of porn

On Monday, former Yahoo engineer Reyes Daniel Ruiz was sentenced to limited house arrest and probation after violating the privacy of thousands in search of explicit images.

Between 2009 and 2019, Reyes Ruiz exploited his position as an engineer with Yahoo to illegally sift through user data in search of private sexual images and videos. He is estimated to have obtained two terabytes of personal images and video footage, anywhere between 1,000 and 4,000 stolen files.

The 34-year-old engineer primarily targeted “young women,” according to the Department of Justice statement. Some of these targets even included his female co-workers and members of their families. Ruiz would compromise a user’s account, then use it to access services like iCloud, Facebook, Gmail, and DropBox in their names.

“Ruiz cracked user passwords, and accessed internal Yahoo systems to compromise the Yahoo accounts,” the statement said. “He made copies of images and videos that he found in the personal accounts without permission, and stored the data at his home.”

Ruiz further admitted destroying a hard drive full of evidence. Because of that, only about half of the estimated 6,000 victims were identified. He pled guilty to the charges. And while he was originally scheduled for sentencing in February 2020, Ruiz was granted a little more time while the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic put the judgment on hold.

Ruiz was granted a degree of leniency due to his cooperation, and because the images were kept for personal use — rather than published online. He is confined to his home, but may leave for work, religious activities, medical appointments, or court-related obligations.


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