Summary: Photos of an Australian girl in a bikini led to the arrest of CabinCr3w hacker Higinio O. Ochoa III, who allegedly hacked government websites.
PICTURES of a scantily clad woman taken in an outer-Melbourne suburb have led to the arrest of a man who allegedly hacked law enforcement and government websites in the United States.
Texan Higinio O. Ochoa III has been charged by the FBI with hacking into the websites of at least four US law enforcement websites and releasing the home addresses, home telephone numbers and mobile phone numbers of dozens of police officers.
But it was a headless photo of a bikini-clad woman in Wantirna South holding a message taunting US authorities that confirmed Ochoa’s identity, according to an affidavit filed by the FBI.
The affidavit, filed in a Texas court last month, alleges that Ochoa is a member of ”CabinCr3w”, an offshoot of the hacking collective Anonymous.
It says that in February a Twitter account with the name @AnonW0rmer, alleged to be Ochoa’s, pointed followers to a website where the information lifted from the law enforcement websites was displayed.
At the bottom of the website was a photograph of woman – believed to be Ochoa’s Australian girlfriend – taken from the neck down and holding a sign saying:
”PwNd by w0rmer & CabinCr3w <3 u BiTch’s”.
According to the FBI, data taken from the picture showed it was taken by an iPhone. GPS co-ordinates taken from the photo also pinpointed the exact Wantirna South street and house where it was taken.
Another link on the Twitter account pointed followers to a website that railed against ”oppression by police departments around the world … EVERY police department is at risk and will remain that way …”
A third website featured a picture of a woman with a sign stating:
”We Are ALL Anonymous We NEVERForgive. We NEVER Forget. <3 @Anonw0rmer”.
The FBI affidavit says the picture appears to be of the same woman as the first, though given her face was concealed, it is unclear how they made the connection 🙂
Eventually the FBI found two references to the pseudonym ”w0rmer” on unconnected internet sites, one of which had Ochoa’s name alongside it. From there they tracked down the computer programmer and put his apartment under surveillance.
The final piece in the puzzle was uncovered when they found Ochoa’s Facebook page, on which he named an Australian woman as his girlfriend. The affidavit says the FBI then satisfied itself she was the woman in the photo taken in South Wantirna.
Although her name is contained in the affidavit, The Age has chosen not to reproduce it because she hasn’t been accused of a crime. It is believed she is now in the United States with Ochoa, who will appear in court this week.
Anonymous and a related group of hackers called LulzSec were hit hard this year when renowned hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, known as ”Sabu”, was revealed to have been co-operating with US authorities since he was arrested last year.
On his Twitter feed and in an online posting, Ochoa has vehemently denied co-operating with the FBI.