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'Photof*cket' men manacled, indicted over Photobucket password-protected pic plunder
Two suspects face conspiracy and fraud charges
Two men, who were indicted and arrested Stateside on Friday for allegedly breaching pic-hosting website Photobucket.com, face conspiracy and fraud charges.
The suspects, Brandon Bourret, 39, of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Athanasios Andrianakis, 26, of Sunnyvale, California, were cuffed and taken away for questioning, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
An indictment (PDF) against the defendants claimed that they "knowingly conspired and agreed with each other to commit acts and offences against the laws of the United States, namely computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud, identification document fraud and wire fraud."
Bourret and Andrianakis sold an application called "Photofucket" to wrongdoers who sought to plunder Photobucket's users' private and password-protected information, images and videos, it has been alleged.
The DoJ added in its statement:
The conspirators used Photofucket to obtain guest passwords to access users’ password protected albums. They also transferred, or caused to be transferred, guest passwords to others who paid to use the Photofucket application.
The charge sheet against Bourret and Andrianakis details one count of conspiracy and one count of computer fraud, aid and abet – both of which carry a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
The men also stand accused of two counts of access device fraud, which carries a higher prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars, per count.
“It is not safe to hide behind your computer, breach corporate servers and line your own pockets by victimising those who have a right to protected privacy on the internet,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is keenly focused on prosecuting those people for their theft – and for the wanton harm they do to innocent internet users.” ®