Computer voyeurism lands student in jail
Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 12:20 a.m.
A Gainesville man has been arrested for allegedly installing software on a woman’s computer, then using the software to remotely control the camera on her computer to take videos of the woman and her friends without their knowledge.
The videos were used to create more than 20,000 photographs of a young woman in various stages of undress, police said.
The man was identified as Craig Matthew Feigin, 23, who was charged with modifying computer data and disrupting or denying computer system services.
Gainesville Police Detective Joseph Mayo said Feigin was sending the photos to an Eastern European server, but it was not clear whether the photographs were being sold.
The incidents began on July 4 when the woman said she drove to Gainesville from Hialeah to visit friends. The woman told police that her laptop computer had been running increasingly slowly, so her friends introduced her to Feigin, who they knew to be adept at resolving computer problems. The woman said she left the computer with Feigin overnight and picked it up on July 5.
The woman said she used her laptop as many other young people do: carrying it with her from room to room in her home as she used it to download music, instant message friends, and perform other computer-related tasks. At times after July 5, the laptop was apparently in the woman’s bedroom.
Mayo said the woman began to notice odd things about her computer over the past few weeks. For example, the woman said that every time she got near the computer when it was on, a light turned on. This light, it turns out, apparently signaled that the added-on camera was on, Mayo said. The woman told police she also noticed that the battery life of her laptop was not nearly as long as usual.
According to Detective Mayo, the woman approached a friend who worked in information technology about the issues. On Monday, police say the woman’s friend discovered software that the woman said she never authorized anyone to install. Mayo identified the programs as freeware known as Log Me In and Web Cam Spy Hacker.
The software Web Cam Spy Hacker is available at a Web site that bears the same address as Feigin: 10 NW 25th St. in Gainesville.
Mayo said Feigin admitted installing the programs on the woman’s computer, viewing photographs of the woman on the server and controlling the woman’s computer remotely over the Internet. Further, Mayo said, Feigin admitted to having done the same things to another woman’s computer.
“We have eight or nine more potential victims that we know of now,” Mayo said Friday. “We believe some of them may be students at UF or at Santa Fe (College).”
Mayo said Feigin had ties to a Web site that appears to repackage and market the freeware for $8.88 as a tool to catch cheating spouses and other domestic activities like drinking babysitters. Detectives estimated Feigin made fewer than 10 sales.
Feigin, a native of Los Angeles, was arrested without incident at 2 p.m. Thursday at the same address as that posted on the Web Cam Spy Hacker Web site.
“He was shocked. He was totally surprised to be arrested,” Mayo said.
Feigin was being held at the Alachua County jail Friday night on a $20,000 bond.
Karen Voyles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 359-5656.
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