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A Mac service technician used spyware to take shots of unsuspecting young women, some of whom were undressed.   (Source: yavamospillaos.wordpress.com)

The malware would pop up OS X messages that looked like system warnings, like this one. The warnings were designed to lure young women to take their computer with them while showering.  (Source: Notebooks.com)

Trevor Harwell's plot was foiled after police searched his computers after a victim received a tip from a local service tech.  (Source: Fullerton Police Department)
Obviously he didn't get the memo that Mac's are unaffected by malicious software

Trevor Harwell, a 20-year-old Los Angeles, California area certified Mac repair specialist is in a load of trouble after police discovered his unusual hobby -- installing spyware on female clients' Macs and using it to take naughty pictures of them remotely.

The young man's scheme was discovered when one of the victims took her Mac to a local Apple, Inc. (AAPL) Genius Bar, complaining that her Mac was popping up odd OS X system warnings.  

The warnings were actually fake, but designed to look like standard system warnings.  One of the warnings informed her, "You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

The message reportedly was designed to try to trick the female victims into taking the computer with them into the shower.

The Apple technician then discovered a piece of Mac malware called Camcapture installed on the machine.  They informed the young woman, "You need to call police."

After contacting the police, Mr. Harwell's Fullerton, California residence was raided and police seized electronics.  Thousands of images were found on the seized computers, all whom thus far have been identified as residents of Los Angeles and Orange County.  Mr. Harwell was arrested Wednesday.

Mr. Harwell's scheme was sophisticated.  Not only did the installed software allow for remote control commands of the webcam, according to Fullerton police spokesman Andrew Goodrich, "It would let his server know that the victim's machine was on. The server would then notify his smartphone... and then the images were recorded on his home computer."

The photos contained women both dressed and unclothed.  The popups apparently tricked several women into taking their laptops with them into the bathroom while showering (to give the laptop its requested "steam" treatment.

Mr. Harwell's business was named Rezitech and was operated out of his home.  Police believe there may be more victims out there, still.  Those who had contact with Mr. Harwell are advised to look in the "/Library/WebServer/Documents" folder where the spyware was typically installed.

Apple fans tend to have the false perception that Macs aren't affected by malware or that only some minuscule percentage are affected by it.  In reality, the platform is home to a diverse and growing body of malware, much like its operating system counterpart from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Windows.  A recent malware attack infected 1 in 20 Mac computers, according to service technician reports.  That'd be akin to a virus on Windows that infected 65 million Windows PCs -- almost unheard of [source].

Mr. Harwell had a fundamentalist upbringing, reportedly, attending Biola University, a small, private evangelical Christian college in southern California.  Many of the victims were Biola students, and police believe he may have compromised university systems as well.



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There are other ways
By Etern205 on 6/10/2011 9:39:27 AM , Rating: 2
to create steam, like cooking a pot of water.




RE: There are other ways
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/10/2011 9:42:09 AM , Rating: 5
Is that a "she needs to be in the kitchen" joke? ;)


RE: There are other ways
By dananski on 6/10/2011 10:23:34 AM , Rating: 5
Not only that, but people actually believed that there was good cause to put their laptop in the bathroom and take a shower. Because we all know how much steam helps electrical components! And these are meant to be university students! Once upon a time, university places were for smart people.


RE: There are other ways
By Souka on 6/10/2011 11:00:20 AM , Rating: 4
But these are Mac owners...to them "it just works" is their level of knowledge of technology.

Apple owners do what their told...
http://imagesarchive.org/archive/wp-content/upload...


RE: There are other ways
By nafhan on 6/10/2011 11:18:12 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And these are meant to be university students
In my experience (and depending on the university), being a student often just means the student's parents are willing to pay for them to go through college - regardless of ability.


RE: There are other ways
By Murloc on 6/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: There are other ways
By Alexstarfire on 6/10/2011 2:24:54 PM , Rating: 1
How did you get rated down for making fun of Mac peoples intelligence while another guy got rated up to a 5?


RE: There are other ways
By runutz on 6/13/2011 5:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
maybe because the other guy's intend was to blast "Fundamentalists" and not mac owners?

Just a wild guess, but...


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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