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How the FBI cracked a “sextortion” plot against pro poker players (arstechnica.com)
12 points by Garbage 1690 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

So, these "hackers" logged in from their home/dorm IPs? And the FBI busts doors down then intimidates so the guy starts talking without a lawyer. Seems like this lowers the bar for "cracking" a plot, and for plotting a plot and being a "mastermind".

Seriously, this is almost equivalent to some kids that find someone's letters to their mistress and call them from their home number and demand money. Hardly worthy of the breathless "badass" FBI agent story reporting this article is full of.

If the guy had bought a couple VMs in cash and bounced around a few times and (for example) took Bitcoin and didn't spend it - then what?

I don't think it's necessary to bring out the FBI on this one, but it is nice to see the government focus on actual crimes instead of inappropriate downloading of public resources.

> "You are going to pay me 60k initially then you are going to pay me 5k every year... the 5k every year will show that I have motivation to never reveal the pictures."

The first time I've seen a blackmailer admit to the fact that they'll just keep asking for more. But psychological effects aside, it's totally idiotic to deliberately create more opportunities to get caught.

Ars Technica wants to be Wired :-(

Please leave the poor, sensationalised writing to Wired and stick to the short news stories we know and love.

This story did not get sensationalistic. None of the people were celebrities for example. There was no violence. And the nature of the embarassing pictures at the center of the extortion was not elaborated on at all except to say that they were sexual in nature and concerned the primary victim, his former girlfriend and that girlfriend's new boyfriend. It was about a pretty ordinary cybercrime. I do not understand what is "poor" about it: is cybercrime unworthy of the attention of the reading public? Why?

I think they were referring to the style of writing, down to the headline. FBI "cracked" a plot. "mastermind". The whole description of the oh-too-cool FBI people breaking into a guy's house to get, as the story says, the guy to "own up". Threatening him about pissing her off, all "24" style. Come the hell on.

It's not all Ars fault, the FBI likes to make their mundane bullying look fearsome and cool. That, despite being the FBI and having the full cooperation of Microsoft, they still need to resort to physical violence to get some smalltime idiot blackmailer. Jeez.

I'd like to think that the smarter hackers realize that good-willed work can make just as much money, if not more, than blackhat bullshit, and there aren't any victims either.

They both got what they deserved, and it's more than laughable that their tracks were so clear. If you're going to be committing fraud, at least learn some shellcode first. Gotta start with the basics before you go baaaad ;)

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