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Unauthorized Photobucket Access: 2 Men Charged in Internet Privacy Breach Case

(REUTERS)A magnifying glass is held in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration.

Two men from Colorado and California were arrested and charged by the Department of Justice for selling software that allowed users to breach and access photos on Photobucket, an image and video hosting website.

Brandon Bourret, 39, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Athanasios Andrianakis, 26, of Sunnyvale, California, were arrested Friday in their homes.

According to the indictment, between July 2012 and July 2014, the two suspects conspired to commit acts of computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud, identification document fraud and wire fraud.

Bourret and Andrianakis sold the software Photof*cket, that allowed users to bypass privacy settings at Photobucket and access users' private and password information, photos and videos without authorization.

They also transferred guest passwords to users who paid the Photof*cket application.

"It is not safe to hide behind your computer, breach corporate servers and line your own pockets by victimizing those who have a right to protected privacy on the Internet," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

The F.B.I. pointed out that "unauthorized access into a secure computer system is a serious federal crime."

Bourret and Andrianakis both face one count of conspiracy, which carries a penalty of not more than five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. They each face one count of computer fraud, aid and abet, which also carries a penalty of not more than five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

They also face two counts of access device fraud, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine, per count.

The indictment also seeks to forfeit Bourret and Andrianakis' properties.

If convicted, the U.S. government seeks to forfeit "any and all of the defendants' right, title and interest in all property constituting and derived from any proceeds obtained directly and indirectly as a result of such offense, including, but not limited to: a money judgment in the amount of proceeds obtained by the conspiracy and by the defendants, for which the defendants are joint and severally liable."

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