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Believe it or not, this cybercrime has some twists reminding all of us to beware the estranged techie ex who decides to hack email or instant messaging accounts and then escalate to Facebook friending.
Enter Harry W Bruder. This handsome devil is in his mid fifties, proving that not every Facebook user is a college student or types in twitter-bursts starting with “zOMG!!”. Sadly, his repeated attempts to “friend” his ex violated a specific domestic violence restraining order issued in Pasco County Florida just this week. Apparently he made it less than a month on the restraining order and in July he was, according to police reports, upset at having to attend court ordered counseling and did the deed.
It wasn’t a hard crime to crack; he confessed to police when they knocked on his door this week and after posting $5000 bond the next day he was released. But that’s $500 in beer money this Florida man will never have.
Don’t try to “friend” your ex. Especially if you were allegedly causing enough mayhem to warrant a domestic violence restraining order. In fact, really – the Internet simply isn’t anonymous enough if you live in the same jurisdiction as your victim (or intended victim) so just don’t do it.
Be very careful of accepting friend requests based on just a name and picture. There are plenty of women and men who have ex’s who might cause them problems once they’ve penetrated the social network.
Facebook doesn’t authenticate who really is requesting to connect to you. Plenty of ways to do it, although after discussion with our local authorities we found that it is technically (under California law) Identity Theft, and can cost you a $50,000 bond if they catch you ($5000 in beer money lost forever). Which… considering my first warning to bad guys… is also on the don’t try it list because the CATCH Team treats this like old hat. It’s a felony and they live to do takedowns. Remember the beer money lost.
Additionally, whose bright idea was it to teach the Pasco County prisoners hydroponic gardening?!? Is it just me, or is this about as smart as teaching potential counterfeiters how to accurately typeset professional printing presses?
I’m sure they won’t apply hydroponic gardening to the growth of another herb which happens to be a felony…
Author ESET Research, ESET