Webcam hacker arrested for spying on teen

A 45-year-old Cypriot man has been arrested on suspicion of hacking into the computer of a teenage girl and spying on her via the computer's webcam. It was alleged that the man used the webcam to take illicit pictures of the girl.

The man, who has not been named, is alleged to have gained access to her webcam after infecting her PC with a trojan that the man sent in an infected email.

According to police reports, the man, a computer technician from Nicosia, is said to have taken compromising pictures of the teenager while she was alone in her bedroom, and threatened to send the pictures to her email contacts unless she stood naked in front of the webcam. The girl refused and contacted the police.

"The last 12 months have seen a dramatic rise in the number of new viruses, worms and trojan horses designed to spy on innocent users: whether it be via their webcam, intercepting emails, or monitoring keypresses to grab banking passwords," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "As well as trojans being used for financial gain, this latest case has highlighted a worrying trend of voyeurism."

In February, a computer science student was fined by a Spanish court for a similar offense.

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