Harwell seemed to have a clear plan to collect as many nude photos as he could until his plan went south when a Fullerton resident notified authorities about suspicious messages, the on-screen notifications asking the user to put the laptop near steam to 'clean the sensor', on his daughter's computer.
Fullerton Police arrested Harwell today and confiscated hundreds of thousands of candid videos and images, usually of women undressing or changing clothes, from Harwell's computer.
Harwell's deceitful tactic would even go as far as to display a message across the screen reading: It was obvious from this type of message that Harwell attempted to get the women to place their laptop near their shower so he would be able to capture pictures of them unclothed.
Allegedly, after capturing images of unclothed women, Harwell would store the photos on a remote server and later download them to his own.
The FBI has also publicly acknowledged its ability to employ such techniques when investigating criminal activity: Last year, a federal magistrate rejected the agency’s request to secretly monitor a suspected criminal through his webcam.
The Chinese government used a program called Ghostnet—which involved remote access to webcams—to spy directly on the Dalai Lama, though it is not known whether or not they first disabled the indicator light.
Fortunately, the FBI was able to identify a suspect: her high school classmate, a man named Jared Abrahams. W., later identified herself on Twitter as Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf.
The photos had been taken over a period of several months — without her knowledge — by the built-in camera on her laptop.highlighted an unnerving study published at Johns Hopkins University which found that a laptop webcam can function in relative secrecy—a slightly subtler Eye of Sauron.Matthew Brocker and Stephen Checkoway’s paper, regrettably (though inevitably) titled “i See You: Disabling the Mac Book Webcam Indicator LED,” exposes the flaw in many Apple laptops built before 2008. "This white girl is blackmailed to take off her clothes on webcam," a caption reads."She refuses in the beginning but after a while, she has no choice." The website runs similar videos of several other women.