Print 70 comment(s) - last by FredEx.. on Jun 13 at 7:07 PM

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

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:

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Very sad indeed...
By Alexstarfire on 6/10/2011 2:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
As bad as rape? I hope you never get into legislation.

It's certainly bad, but saying that is just silly. If her picture ended up on the front page of a national newspaper, popular magazine, and/or popular website then it might be different... but we know that didn't happen.

RE: Very sad indeed...
By XZerg on 6/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: Very sad indeed...
By Alexstarfire on 6/10/2011 3:02:16 PM , Rating: 3
IDK how I'd see her after that. It doesn't really matter though since it still wouldn't be as bad as rape.

RE: Very sad indeed...
By MrTeal on 6/10/2011 3:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
How are you going to see your daughter after you coming across some inappropriate pictures of her that some pervert uploaded?

Hopefully the same way you looked at her before. It's not like you found out she's a porno star or something.

RE: Very sad indeed...
By XZerg on 6/10/2011 3:20:37 PM , Rating: 3
Simply put it would royally mess up a father's head - mine would. There are things in life that regardless of how hard you try to forget, especially the emotionally damaging events, you can't. Remember Lawrence Fisbourne and his daughter incident?

Or think about it from a child's perspective. how would a mother explain to her child about the picture that the child's friends keep using to make fun of it or vulgar comments about it?

I just feel that people doing all this pr0n0 related stuff don't even contemplate about the family perspective or future. Just focusing on some easy cash and short-term benefits instead of longer term.

RE: Very sad indeed...
By derricker on 6/10/2011 7:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're already very messed up if you can equal the Fishburne situation, a full blown prostitute, by choice btw as she had millions already, to a daughter of yours, a human being, being in a possible privacy compromised situation, by whatever the reason.

What?? would you stop loving her if you (and half the world) happen to see her f****g her boyfriend, specially if she didn't intend that to be seen by anybody else?

RE: Very sad indeed...
By superstition on 6/10/2011 7:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Make sure she has FGM and you'll feel much better!


RE: Very sad indeed...
By FredEx on 6/13/2011 7:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
A work associates daughter posed fully nude in Playboy's Girls of the ACC, when she was at a college in the ACC. He got over it.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki