ORLANDO, Fla. - A man has been arrested after paying a computer hacker to target a University of Central Florida student's Snapchat account and extort her for nude photos, according to the UCF Police Department.
John Thompson in May 2018 paid a computer hacker he found through the website 4chan to target his ex-girlfriend's sister's account in order to obtain nude pictures and videos, police said.
Thompson supplied the hacker with the victim's name, birthday, phone number and username, according to officials.
Police said the computer hacker then messaged the victim and requested her login information for her Snapchat account. Eventually, the hacker was able to convince the victim to share her login information.
The victim received a notification that her Snapchat login was used in Canada. Her login information was then changed, stopping her from using the app, police said.
The victim called the hacker, who demanded that she send sexual images and videos in order to get her login information back. Police said the hacker then threatened to post all of the nude images and videos stored on her account to the internet if she called the police.
Friends of the victim then began to receive nude images of the victim through Snapchat, police said. Those friends then contacted the hacker to stop sending the photos, but the hacker said once the victim sends the photos that she would get her login information back.
Police said several months later, the victim was made aware that her photos and videos were posted to the internet. The issue was then reported to the UCF Police Department.
Fourteen explicit photos were uploaded to the site, police said. The images also included the victim's name and Instagram account.
The victim received another text message from an unknown number. Police said the message included a photo from her hacked Snapchat account, a picture of her father's Facebook account and her mother's phone number.
Police said the message stated:
I'm sure by now you're aware your photos are out there it'd be a shame if your family saw.
Authorities began to message the hacker in order to try to identify them. Police said the hacker requested that the victim send more nude photos or they would send the pictures to her parents.
If I don't get my selfie in 5 minutes I'm sending this to one of your parents, or maybe one of your brothers, or your sister, or a step mom, times ticking, hurry up or you'll regret it.
Authories told the hacker that they were speaking with law enforcement in hopes that they would not send the images to the victim's family. Police said moments later the victim received a call from Thompson, who is her sister's ex-boyfriend.
After speaking to authorities, Thompson admitted to soliciting a computer hacker in order to get the woman's Snapchat account in May, police said. He also admitted to sharing the personal information of the victim with the hacker in order to get explicit images, which he received through a shared Dropbox account with the hacker.
Police said Thompson had created multiple fake Instagram accounts in order to talk to the victim. He used those accounts to ask for the victim's new Snapchat handle after she deleted her hacked account.
Thompson solicited the hacker to target the victim because the woman's appearance is similar to her sister's, who he dated previously and refused to send nude photos to him, police said.
Thompson is charged with two counts of extortion, offenses against users of computers, sexual cyber harassment and stalking (cyberstalking), police said.
He was booked into the Orange County Jail Wednesday and has since been released.
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