A former Yahoo software engineer has pleaded guilty to hacking thousands of user accounts in search of sexually explicit images and videos and other types of private data.
Reyes Daniel Ruiz on Monday admitted using his access as a Yahoo engineer to compromise 6,000 user accounts, federal prosecutors said. The engineer, now 34 years old, cracked user passwords and gained access to internal Yahoo systems to access the accounts. He told prosecutors that he targeted accounts belonging to younger women, including personal friends and work colleagues.
He used his access to Yahoo accounts to compromise victims' accounts on other services, including iCloud, Facebook, Gmail and Dropbox, in search of extra private photos and videos. After a former employer observed suspicious account activity, Ruiz admitted to corrupting the computer and hard drive he used to store the private data, prosecutors say.
Ruiz was indicted in April for a count of computer intrusion and a count of cutting off a wire communication. The prosecution said that, from May to June 201
Ruiz's LinkedIn account showed that he worked in Yahoo for almost 11 years. The account shows that in October 2018 he became a senior engineer at Okta, a company in San Francisco that has access to management. An Okta representative told Motherboard news site that Ruiz worked there for half a year and that all the actions that resulted from the accusations took place before joining the company.
Ruiz is currently released on terms of a $ 200,000 bond loan. He has a maximum of five years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine, plus restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3.