Former Yahoo! Employee Avoids Jail After Hacking User Accounts

A former Yahoo! employee who admitted to hacking into the accounts of thousands of users was sentenced last week to five years of probation.

The man, Reyes Daniel Ruiz, 35, of Tracy, California, pleaded guilty in September 2019 to hacking roughly 6,000 Yahoo! accounts, looking for sexual photos and videos.

To access the victim accounts, he used cracked user passwords, but in some cases he abused internal Yahoo! systems for unauthorized access to accounts.

In his guilty plea, Ruiz admitted to mainly targeting the accounts of younger women, friends, and even colleagues. After accessing the accounts, he made copies of the discovered content and stored it at his home.

Ruiz, who has no criminal history, also admitted to targeting the Facebook, Gmail, iCloud, Dropbox, Hotmail, and other online accounts of victims.

Overall, he is believed to have downloaded between 1,000 and 4,000 images and videos, amounting to approximately 2 TB of data.

He also admitted to destroying the hard drive containing the downloaded content, which helped him receive a lenient sentence.

During his five years of probation, Ruiz is allowed to leave home for “verified employment, medical needs and religious services,” court records reveal. He was also ordered to pay nearly $120,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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