Luis Mijangos pleaded not guilty today to 16 federal charges, including conspiracy, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, extortion, wiretapping and other counts. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick in downtown Los Angeles set an Aug. 9 status conference in the case.
In the Marvel Comics' world, Charles Francis Xavier is the leader and founder of the X-Men and–although a paraplegic–“Professor X,” as he is known, possesses the world's most powerful mutant mind, giving him the ability to read, control and influence
According to various websites, Santa Ana's Luis Mijangos idolized the fictional Professor X. But, while also confined to a wheelchair, Mijangos apparently used his “special powers” to read, control and influence for evil, not good.
told you here about the 31-year-old getting popped by the feds last month for allegedly
into dozens of computers, obtaining personal data about people using the
computers, and then demanding sexually explicit videos from girls and
women in exchange for keeping their personal information private.
He is scheduled to be indicted today.
Between his arrest and today, we've learned some things other than the Professor X obsession about Mijangos and his case:
- Mijangos was confined to a wheelchair after being wounded in a gang shooting.
- There's a nickname for the type of crime Mijangos–who the feds claim victimized at least 44 girls and 186 women–is alleged to have committed. It's unclear if the Los Angeles Times coined it, but the paper is publicizing it: “sextortion.”
- The Times' Andrew Blankstein looked at the 23-page criminal complaint filed in U.S.
Court in Los Angeles by the FBI and reports Mijangos allegedly sent an e-mail to a victim in
which he attached a nude picture of her. “I will publish the images and let
your family know about your dark side,” he reportedly threatened, “. . . so you better do that video,
send it to me via e-mail and you will never hear from me ever.”
These startling new revelations can be added to the sick-ass shit that was alleged at the time of the arrest:
- Mijangos used
peer-to-peer networks to infect computers around the world with
malicious computer code.
- He induced victims to download the
malware onto their computers by making the files appear to be popular
- After the victims downloaded the malware, he was able to
control their computers, allowing him to send instant messages
containing malware from those computers to other people in the victims'
address books. These later victims thought they were receiving messages
from friends or family members.
- Once he had control of a computer, Mijangos
searched for sexually explicit or intimate images and videos of women,
typically young women and girls in various states of undress or engaged
in sexual acts with their partners.
- He contacted the female
victims, informing them that he was in possession of intimate images and
videos and threatening to distribute those stolen images and videos to
every addressee in the victims' contact lists unless they made
additional videos for him.
- He also told his victims that, because
he controlled their computers, he would know if they attempted to
contact the authorities, and he threatened to retaliate against them by
releasing the images and videos if they called the police.
- He told one victim that she did not want to “mess”
with a team of hackers.
- He installed a “keylogger” on
victims' computers that allowed him to record every key that was struck
on the keyboards of the infected computers. Because the users of those
compromised computers were unaware that their computers had been
infected, they continued to use their computers to engage in commercial
and social activities.
- He used the keylogger to steal credit card
numbers and personal identifying information that he used to engage in
identity theft and to purchase merchandise.
- He used stolen usernames and
passwords to access victims' e-mail and social networking sites to
further his extortion scheme.
- After hacking e-mail accounts belonging to
victims' boyfriends, Mijangos contacted women and teenage girls and,
pretending to be their boyfriends, asked them to create pornographic
videos for him. Once he had those videos, Mijangos again contacted the
victims, this time using an alias, to demand more pornographic videos
under threats of distributing the videos previously sent to him.
his control of the victims' computers
and all of their functions, he was able to remotely access
victims' webcams and to turn them on from time to time in an attempt to
catch the victims in intimate situations. Occasionally he was
- Mijangos infected more than 100 computers.
The FBI says that at the time a search warrant was served at
his residence, Mijangos allegedly acknowledged that he hacked into computers, but he
claimed that he did so at the request of boyfriends and husbands who
sought to determine whether the women were cheating on them.
He is also said to have admitted asking for additional sexual videos but only to
determine whether the women would actually do it.
Mijangos conceded he was involved with an international network of hackers and that he participated in credit card fraud, according to the bureau.
His arrest on suspicion of extortion, a felony that carries a statutory maximum penalty of
two years in federal prison, came after a two-year investigation by the FBI's cyber
The bureau was tipped by the Glendale Police Department, which received a complaint from a victim and quickly realized a sophisticated computer hacker possibly preyed on a number of victims.