The cyber patrol of the National Police has yielded new results in an operation against a criminal modality baptized as hacktortion in which ten people have been arrested. Once the victims hired these services, the detainees extorted them by threatening to reveal content from their private or intimate sphere.
During the investigation, searches were carried out in Zaragoza, Barcelona, Girona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in which 40 mobile phone terminals, 17 hard drives, 3 computers, 5 tablets and 24 pen drives were intervened. In addition, 176,775 euros of the money sent by the victims have been intervened.
Agents specialized in active cyberpatrol developed in social networks and open sources of information on the Internet, detected a boom in advertisements in which sophisticated hackers offered different computer services, among which were spying on real-time messaging applications, email accounts and social media profiles.
In addition, they offered to delete data from the servers of the Tax Agency, the ASNEF (National Association of Credit Financial Establishments), the RAI (Registry of Unpaid Acceptances) or even the DGT (General Directorate of Traffic) as well as change of notes from university servers, recording of official degrees not taken and other offers of a similar nature.
The investigations managed to identify more than 12,000 advertisements of this type and, associated with these publications, more than 40 telephone numbers, more than 200 email accounts and almost 1,300 IP addresses for Internet connection were found.
They demanded money
Those arrested captured customers through the publication of advertisements offering computer hacker services and demanded payment in advance of the full agreed amount or, at least, a part. Under the pretext of fulfilling the entrusted task, the alleged hackers requested sensitive data, either from the interested party, or from the subject who was intended to spy or violate their privacy.
After sending the agreed amount by the victims, the contact was abruptly interrupted, not complying with the agreement and not providing any reason. However, when the victim tried to spy on the social networks or messaging applications of another person, or in which the service that was contracted was of doubtful legality, the contacts continued.
Faced with these situations, the fake hacker wrote to those who had hired him, but now requesting new amounts of money under the threat of revealing the work they had been commissioned to do. To do this, they showed clients screenshots of the conversations held in which they requested said services and provided the information that was required of them.
Thousands of euros
The evolution of the investigations made it possible to detect a total of 21 bank accounts used by the fake hackers to receive the money sent by the victims. The study of the almost 3,000 bank movements reflected in them allowed the identification of 430 victims. In addition, it has been possible to quantify the profit derived from said criminal activity, raising the total amount of the five sources investigated to 341,000 euros