Threat Management

FBI charges Massachusetts man with computer hacking, payment card theft

A Massachusetts man that reportedly hacked into Paris Hilton's cell phone in 2005 at the age 17 was charged Monday with hacking into the computer networks of an educational institution and law enforcement agencies, as well as with stealing financial account information, including payment card data.

New Bedford resident Cameron Lacroix – who operated under aliases such as “cam0,” “Freak,” and “leetjones” – faces two counts of computer fraud and one count of access device fraud, according to charges filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on Monday.

Between September 2012 and December 2013, while enrolled as a student at Bristol Community College (BCC), the 25-year-old is alleged to have repeatedly accessed BCC computer servers, without authorization, according to the charges.

Lacroix is alleged to have stolen credentials from three BCC instructors, which were then used to access an electronic system designed for logging student grades.

“Using these stolen [login] credentials, on approximately 24 occasions, LACROIX logged into these BCC instructors' accounts, and on seven separate occasions, he changed course grades for himself and two other BCC students,” according to the charges.

Also in September 2012, Lacroix allegedly gained unauthorized access to the email address of the Chief of Police for the Massachusetts Police Department, according to charges, which explain that Lacroix copied and maintained copies of the Chief's emails.

Additionally, Lacroix is charged with repeatedly gaining unauthorized access – from August 2012 to November 2012 – to law enforcement computer servers that contained private information, including police reports, intelligence reports, arrest warrants and sex offender information, according to the charges, which did not identify the impacted agencies.

Lacroix is also charged with stealing and possessing financial account information and other related data, although the charges did not indicate how it was obtained and the victims were not identified.

“Between May 2011 and May 2013, Lacroix obtained and possessed stolen payment card data for more than 14,000 unique account holders,” according to the charges, which add that names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and bank account and routing numbers were also impacted for some of the account holders.

The FBI Boston Division Cyber Task Force investigated the case, and law enforcement seized a Toshiba laptop computer and an eight gigabyte thumb drive from Lacroix on May 8, 2013.

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