Man stole nude photos from women's e-mail accounts

George Bronk scoured Facebook for answers to security questions, then posted photos online

A California man has pleaded guilty to charges that he broke into the e-mail accounts of thousands of women, scouring them for nude photos that he then posted to the Internet.

George Bronk, 23, was arrested in late October after police found evidence that he'd hacked into more than 3,200 e-mail accounts. He used the same technique that Sarah Palin hacker David Kernell used to break into the former U.S. vice presidential candidate's Yahoo account: He scoured his victims' Facebook accounts for answers to the security questions used by Web-based e-mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Then, posing as his victim, he would claim to have forgotten the account's password and try to answer the security questions that would let him back in. Often, the security questions are easy to guess. The questions Bronk faced asked him things like, "What is your high school mascot?" and "What is your father's middle name?"

Once in, he would change the account password -- locking out his victim -- and search for any racy photographs. If he found any, he posted them to the victim's Facebook profile.

Of the 3,200 accounts he broke into, Bronk found nude or semi-nude photos in 172 of them, prosecutors said.

In one case he persuaded a victim to send him even more explicit photographs by threatening to post the ones he'd stolen if she didn't.

Bronk faces six years in prison on felony hacking, child pornography and identity theft charges. He entered his plea Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court.

"This case highlights the fact that anyone with an email account is vulnerable to identity theft,"California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CriminalOffice of the Attorney General of Californiasecuritylegal

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?