A man from New York has admitted hacking into the social media accounts of female college students and stealing intimate photographs to trade online.
Over a two-year period, Rochester resident Nicholas Faber compromised the accounts of dozens of women attending State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh to access videos and images in which his victims appeared in a state of undress.
The 25-year-old did not commit his crimes alone. Faber admitted working with co-conspirator Michael Patrick Fish from 2017 to 2019 to hack into victims’ school email accounts. The men then used the information contained within those email accounts to gain access to victims’ social media accounts, including their private messages.
Faber and Fish trawled their victim’s accounts for any embarrassing videos and photographs and any images or footage in which the victims appeared nude. Both men admitted stealing these compromising images and trading them online with other people.
Fish, who is also aged 25, reportedly further exploited victims by creating and selling collages featuring personal photos of the victims, sexually explicit images, and formal graduation photos.
As a result of Fish and Faber’s crimes, the university had to allocate money and staff to identifying accounts that had been compromised, reviewing computer and server access logs, resetting passwords, and notifying students and parents of the security breach.
Faber, who obtained an undergraduate degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, graduating in 2017, yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of computer intrusion causing damage and one count of aggravated identity theft. He has agreed to pay $35,430 in restitution to SUNY Plattsburgh.
Fish, who was a student at SUNY Plattsburgh between 2016 and 2019 and later attended Albany Law School, pleaded guilty on May 19, 2020, to computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and child pornography offenses.
On January 29, 2021, Fish was further charged with obstruction of justice and violating release conditions after allegedly submitting six fraudulent letters attesting to his own good character to US District Judge Mae D’Agostino.
Among the individuals allegedly impersonated by Fish in the letters were a Catholic priest, a top aide to US Representative Elise Stefanik, and the defendant’s own mother and grandparents.
Sentencing for Fish is scheduled for March 19, while Faber is due to be sentenced on June 9.