An ex-Yahoo! employee has pleaded guilty to misusing his access at the company to hack into the accounts of nearly 6,000 Yahoo users in search of private and personal records, primarily sexually explicit images and videos.
According to an press note released by the U.S. Justice Department, Reyes Daniel Ruiz, a 34-year-old resident of California and former Yahoo software engineer, admitted accessing Yahoo internal systems to compromise accounts belonging to younger women, including his personal friends and work colleagues.
Once he had access to the users’ Yahoo accounts, Ruiz then used information obtained from users’ email messages and their account’s login access to hacking into their iCloud, Gmail, Facebook, DropBox, and other online accounts in search of more private material.
Besides this, Ruiz also made copies of private images and videos that he found in the personal accounts of Yahoo users without their permission and stored them on a private computer at his home, according to federal prosecutors.
However, after one of his colleagues at the company noticed the suspicious account activity, Ruiz then destroyed his private computer and hard drive containing the stolen material in an attempt to erase any proofs.
Ruiz was indicted by a federal grand jury on 4th April and charged with one count of computer intrusion and one count of interception of a wire communication.
However, under the plea agreement, Ruiz has pledged guilty to a single count of computer intrusion, for which he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 restitution fine for his victims.
Ruiz is currently on release on a $200,000 bond as he awaits sentence hearing on February 3, 2020.