How 'sextortionist' in Cabanatuan hacked Facebook accounts

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2017 03:32 AM

The Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) has arrested a computer technology student in Cabanatuan City who is accused of extorting money from a 17-year-old victim in exchange for not uploading her nude photos and sex videos in social media. 

In an entrapment operation Wednesday in Paco Roman St., Barangay Supermarket, Cabanatuan City, PNP-ACG operatives arrested Ronald Ecaro, 18 years old, and a 2nd year Associate in Computer Technology student.

The victim's mom said her daughter's Facebook account was hacked on May 1. 

PNP-ACG spokesperson Supt. Jay Guillermo said, "Sabi ng mother, the hacker was able to access the Facebook Messenger of her daughter. He blackmailed the victim, for deletion and not uploading the videos and the nude pictures on the internet and not distributing it on social mdia friends. Natakot 'yung victim and they were able to give P20,000 through a money transfer. Nanghingi na naman, doon na siya nagsabi sa magulang niya."

PNP-ACG was able to trace the money transfer to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

Authorities discovered that the suspect used a social engineering technique to access the victim's Facebook password by getting the victim's cellphone number from her friends. 

The cellphone number then is used to reset the password of the Facebook account. 

Once this is done, the suspect is able to access the Facebook account and retrieve information stored inside. 

Guillermo said, "Kung sa kanyang observation sa social media account, kung napapansin niya ang mga messages sa chat at timeline, na parang merong intimate conversation between a female or a male user sa social media, ang gagawin niya doon he will try to change the password of the female user and then he will try to reset the password."

PNP-ACG said Ecaro's modus is to closely monitor the victim's Facebook account and then hack it when opportunity arises. 

Before his arrest, Ecaro allegedly victimized 8 people. 

Ecaro will be charged with violation of Article 294 of Revised Penal Code or Robbery with Violence and Intimidation, RA 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, and violation of RA 8792 or E Commerce Act of 2000.