Cybersecurity

Feds arrest alleged password-crackers-for-hire, claiming 6,000 emails hacked


Two men who the FBI says ran the website needapassword.com face federal charges for obtaining unauthorized access to email accounts, the BBC reports.

Mark Anthony Townsend and Joshua Alan Tabor, both of whom are from Arkansas, operated the site, according to an FBI statement, and they were charged last week in Los Angeles federal court.

Advertising for the site targeted jealous lovers, Mother Jones reports, and consumers paid between $50 and $350 for email passwords. Approximately 6,000 email accounts were affected, according to the FBI, and both men could face five-year prison sentences.

Three US individuals who used similar websites based outside the United States were also targeted, according to the FBI, and face misdemeanor charges of hiring computer hackers. The investigation also led to the arrest of alleged hackers in Romania, India and China.

The charges were announced the same week that the federal government arrested Hunter Moore, the operator of revenge porn website IsAnyoneUp.com. That indictment says he hacked into email accounts to get photos for his site.

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