Police: IT guy fit camera spyware to women's Macs

Computer technician allegedly installs software that controlled the Webcams on women's Macs and sends out fake error messages telling women to put their Macs near steam.

Those in charge of technology now control the world. Can you always trust them to do good?

Word emerges from the depths of Fullerton, Calif., that one computer repairman might have used his technological know-how for depravity.

According to the Associated Press, Trevor Harwell, aged 20, allegedly serviced women's Macs by adding certain nefarious extras. Having physical access to their Macs, he allegedly fit them with Camcapture software that controlled the Mac Webcams remotely.

But what seems to have alerted the police were messages that he managed to flash up on the Mac screens. These allegedly told those who owned the Macs: "You should fix your internal sensor soon" or, even more suspiciously, "Try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

This was, it seems, an invitation for the owners to go to the bathroom with their Macs.

 

Several who read these pages will be slapping their foreheads at this very moment, wondering how anyone could be fooled into putting their precious piece of electronica near hot steam, as if this was an obvious cure for some strange computer problem.

In the end, it was reportedly at a Mac Genius Bar in La Brea, Calif., that a woman asked a genius why her camera light was on. Shortly afterward, the police were alerted.

Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton police told the AP: "Once he had access, he would take photographs of the users, usually women. Often, the female victims were undressed or changing clothes. Harwell then stored the photos on a remote server, and eventually downloaded them on his own computer."

There was allegedly a lot of storing. Police say they found hundreds of thousands of photos on Harwell's own computer. He now faces 12 felony counts of illegal computer access and fraud. The company that employed him, Rezitech, is reportedly assisting police with their prosecution.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Mac running slow?

Boost your computer with these five useful tips that will clean up the clutter.