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Santa Ana Man Admits To Hacking Computers, Extorting Victims For Porn

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Mexican national pleaded guilty in Los Angeles Monday to charges he hacked into hundreds of computers to extort victims into making sexually explicit videos for him.

Prosecutors say Luis Mijangos, who was living in Santa Ana, tricked about 230 people into downloading a virus that allowed him to take over their personal computers.

The 32-year-old Mexican national pleaded guilty to intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and illegal intercepting an oral or wire communication, prosecutors said, charges that carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Mijangos is scheduled for sentencing at Aug. 8.

Mijangos looked for sexually explicit photos of computer owners, then threatened to e-mail those files to victims’ mailing lists to coerce them into sending him more homemade digital pornography, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested at his house last June by the FBI and brought in his wheelchair to federal court in Los Angeles to make his first court appearance, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

A six-month investigation began when one of his victims went to Glendale police for help, Eimiller said. Most of the alleged victims live in Long Beach, she said.

Prosecutors said Mijangos accessed the computers through peer-to-peer networks by tricking victims into downloading malware that appeared to be popular songs. The malware allowed Mijangos to take control of the computers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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