FBI account of tracking and arresting an online ‘sextortionist’ is grimly satisfying

TechCrunch | 8/8/2017 | Devin Coldewey
shuadah (Posted by) Level 3
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Tales of internet trolls and worse things are common to hear about — that is, if you’re not experiencing their effects yourself, as many are. But while those stories often end in the victim uselessly soliciting the help of Facebook management or clueless law enforcement, this one ends up with the perpetrator in question, a low-rent script kiddie who targeted girls, completely owned by the FBI.

The case of Buster Hernandez, alias Brian Kil, is a welcome breath of fresh air — while at the same time it’s a sobering reminder that people like him are a common threat and many do get away with it, as he vainly boasted he would.

Story - Hernandez - Bakersfield - California - Subjects

The story is this: Hernandez, a 26-year-old who lives in Bakersfield, California, would track down the subjects of nude pictures acquired from compromised cloud accounts, forcing them to send him more under the threat of having them all released publicly. While this case in particular concerned high school girls in Plainfield, Indiana, he is alleged of having victims in “at least 10 federal districts” over the last five years.

The FBI got involved on December 15, 2015, after Hernandez (as “Brian Kil”) had already extorted a number of images and videos of one underage girl and posted them on Facebook. The images were accompanied by a graphic, threatening message of the mass-shooter variety that I won’t quote here; suffice it to say it’s just as full of the horrifying sexism and racism one finds in these pathetic manifestos. It was enough to cause the schools to close and the police to ask for help from the feds.

Facebook - Data - Kil - Order - Email

Facebook served up the data on “Brian Kil” in short order, but it was an anonymous email and the IP associated with the account was a Tor node. Posing as the victim, agents made contact...
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