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Police arrest suspected hacker accused of using nude photos to extort high school teens

A 19-year-old man was arrested in Berkeley Monday on suspicion of hacking the social media accounts of at least 17 Bay Area high school girls and using their personal nude photographs for extortion purposes, police announced in a statement released Thursday.

According to the statement, the investigation began on May 10 when Berkeley High School officials notified police that a hacker had targeted and obtained nude photos of several female students.

Police said in the statement:

“The hacker then posted the underage nude photographs to various social media sites. The suspect then attempted to extort the victims for more nude photographs.”  

Police initially collected information for 17 victims from both private and public schools in Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties.

The FBI helped the Berkeley High School school resource office to identify the suspect and an warrant was issued for his arrest.

In the course of the investigation, police said detectives discovered that the suspect also possessed more than 130 child pornography videos with the subject ranging in age from 3 to 12. They also found names and social media login information for more than 100 people.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged the suspect Wednesday with multiple felony counts of felony possession of child pornography, hacking, identity theft and distribution of private intimate images — also known revenge porn.

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