Posts on Aug 2018

Navy veteran raped schoolgirl and planted hidden camera

Scott Forbes plied a 14-year-old girl with alcohol during sex attacks in Edinburgh.

A former serviceman raped a schoolgirl and sexually assaulted another underage girl 

By STV

Scott Forbes also placed a hidden camera in another victim’s bedroom and recorded footage of her while she was naked and getting dressed.

Jailing him for nine years on Monday, a judge told Forbes, 49, that the corrosive effect of his behavior on victims was “incalculable”.

 Lord Woolman said: “You have altered the course of their lives.”

Forbes, formerly of Firrhill Park, in Edinburgh, was convicted of five offences committed between 2009 and May last year, including rape, sexual assault and possessing and making indecent images of children.

He locked a 14-year-old in a house in Edinburgh and made sexual remarks to the child and molested and raped her and photographed her naked body.

He also plied another 14-year-old with drink, showed her pornography, molested her and took pictures of her naked body while she was intoxicated at an address in Edinburgh on May last year.

Forbes was also found to have set up equipment at a house in Bonnyrigg, in Midlothian, to covertly shoot and record footage of a third victim in April last year.

Lord Woolman also ordered at the High Court in Edinburgh that the Royal Navy veteran should be kept under supervision for an extra four years after his release.

The judge said he had “narrowly” decided against calling for a full risk-assessment report, which can lead to the making of an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

He told Forbes he was prepared to treat him as a first offender and noted that he had medical problems which have prevented him working for the last eight years.

Defence counsel David Nicholson said Forbes continued to deny the serious sexual offending.

Mr Nicholson said Forbes had been on long term sick leave following a variety of health problems.

He told the court that Forbes has a neurological condition and was previously diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

The defence counsel said that arose primarily from Forbes’ service when he was stationed in Iraq and the Arabian gulf.

He added: “He is not somebody with any difficulty with drugs or alcohol.”

Following the sentencing, police praised victims who came forward to give evidence against Forbes.

Detective Sergeant Jonny Wright, of Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Scott Forbes is a devious individual who took advantage of each of the victims’ trust.

“I want to commend their bravery in coming forward, which has led to Forbes’ conviction.

“I would also like to reassure any victims of sexual crime that there is no time limit to reporting offences and we will always investigate.”

Police Scotland added: “Anyone with information about sexual offences can contact Police Scotland on 101, or report this anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Amazon Echo turned into snooping device by Chinese hackers

‘ALEXA, SNOOP ON MY WESTERN BUDDIES’ is potentially a command Chinese hackers barked at an Amazon Echo after they managed to turn it into a snooping device.

By Roland Moore-Colyer

Cybersecurity boffins from Chinese firm Tencent’s Blade security research team exploited various vulnerabilities they found in the Echo smart speaker to eventually coax it into becoming an eavesdropping device.

The hackers showed off the snooping speaker at the DefCon security conference, reported Wired, using it as a demonstration for the potential for smart home devices to be used for surveillance.

 
But before you boot your Echo or Google Home out of the nearest window, the hackers noted that getting into the Echo was hardly an easy process, and Amazon now has fixes for the security holes.

“After several months of research, we successfully break the Amazon Echo by using multiple vulnerabilities in the Amazon Echo system, and [achieve] remote eavesdropping,” a description of the hackers work, provided to Wired, explained.

“When the attack [succeeds], we can control Amazon Echo for eavesdropping and send the voice data through the network to the attacker.”

The hackers first needed to create a spying-capable Echo, which involved a multi-step penetration technique with enough intricacies to get past the device’s built-in security. This included taking apart the Echo, removing its flash chip and writing custom firmware onto it before remounting the chip.

Once done, the Echo then had to be connected to the same network as a target device Echo device. From there, the hackers could exploit a vulnerability in Amazon’s Whole Home Audio Daemon, which can communicate with other Echo devices on the network, and gain control over targeted Echo gadgets.

And, from there, they could then snoop on their victims and pass recording back to the malicious Echo or pipe all manner of sound through the hijacked Echo.

The technique is hardly an easy or particularly remote way to hack an Echo, but it does conjure up some techniques spies could apply in surveillance operations, providing they have permission to sneak into a person’s house, or they could go rogue like Ethan Hunt does in pretty much every Mission Impossible flick.

The whole situation also highlights how security in such devices needs to be given as much attention as other smart features, as there’s already been a swathe of examples where lax security in smart or connected devices has lead to hack attacks.

Pervert landlord watched tenants having sex and made 180 videos of naked women after installing hidden cameras

Paul Dunster, 59, from Portsmouth in Hampshire, would also watch his tenants showering and made films of his unsuspecting victims over a 10 year period

By Danya Bazaraa

A pervert landlord watched his tenants having sex and showering after planting hidden cameras in their rooms, a court heard.

Paul Dunster, 59, made a staggering 183 videos of unsuspecting naked women who rented rooms from him over a 10 year period to ‘satisfy his sexual needs’.

A judge told him it was a “sad” and “disgusting” story.

Police raided former security worker Dunster’s home in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and found two memory cards containing the voyeuristic videos.

He initially denied two charges of voyeurism but later admitted making the secret videos after setting up cameras in the bedroom and bathroom of one of the properties he rented out.

Prosecutor David Reid told Portsmouth Crown Court: “The first memory card had 18 videos which showed sexual encounters between men and women in the bedroom.

“Those videos lasted a total of 20 minutes but none of the tenants were aware of the camera.

“The second memory card was taken from the bathroom and showed women having baths and showers – women who were also totally unaware they were filmed.

“There was significant planning to this and it was an abuse of trust as the women were tenants.”

The court heard army veteran Dunster was landlord of seven flats and had total outstanding mortgages of £870,000.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, told the hearing: “Many residents are extremely grateful he lets them rent rooms the way he does.”

Sentencing Dunster, Judge David Melville QC said: “The residents would have been disgusted to know you had a camera set up in the bedroom to film people having sex.

“I’m sure people would also have been disgusted to know you set up a camera in the bathroom to satisfy your sexual needs.

“It is sad story and one which is disgusting.”

Dunster was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine plus £500 in costs, and was given 100 hours of unpaid work with 20 rehabilitation days.
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Former NASCAR driver must pay ex-wife $1 for secret recordings in bedroom, jury rules

A jury awarded the ex-wife of former NASCAR driver Greg Biffle $1 for secretly recording her in her bedroom and bathroom for two years, the woman’s lawyer told The Charlotte Observer on Monday night.

BY JOE MARUSAK

Greg Biffle’s actions “were found to be an unlawful invasion of privacy,” Nicole Biffle’s lawyer, Amy Simpson, told the Observer in a reply email seeking comment about Monday’s verdict in Mecklenburg County Civil Court.

During the nearly two-week trial, Greg Biffle “denied doing anything inappropriate,” and testified that his wife knew about the cameras, WSOC-TV reported.

“What the jury said sends a loud message that they don’t believe there was wrongdoing,” Biffle told the station. Attempts by the Observer to reach Greg Biffle on Monday night were unsuccessful.

In their lawsuit against the former driver, Nicole Biffle and her mother said that Greg Biffle secretly videotaped them in their bedrooms at the couple’s $2.7 million mansion on Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina.

 

Nicole Biffle and her mother said in their lawsuit that Greg Biffle “has shown images captured by the hidden cameras to third persons,” the Observer reported.

In her email to the Observer on Monday night, Simpson said the case “has never been about money for Ms. Biffle. It’s been about holding Mr. Biffle accountable for the complete violation of her dignity and right to privacy that should be afforded all persons. And for that she’s proud of the verdict against him.”

Yet, Goodwin said in her email, “the $1 in damages is perplexing given the gravity of Mr. Biffle’s actions and the lengths he went to invade her privacy. But that is the verdict.”

Simpson said Nicole Biffle and her mother hope the jury will award punitive damages during the second phase of the trial that “adequately reflect the true severity of his actions.”



Nicole Biffle and her mother say in their lawsuit that Greg Biffle “has repeatedly asserted under oath that the Hidden Cameras were installed for ‘security purposes’ because he believed his maids were stealing from him.”

Nicole Biffle says in the lawsuit that she “has suffered loss of appetite, loss of sleep, pain in her abdomen, emotional distress, worry, humiliation, fear … and other anxiety-related conditions” as a result of the alleged secret filming.

Her mother suffered similar health problems, according to the lawsuit, “and was prescribed a drug for anxiety and tension in January 2016 as a result of the stress from being filmed.”

The lawsuit sought at least $100,000 in damages. The figure was closer to $9 million, WSOC-TV reported, citing unnamed sources.

The Biffles legally separated in March 2015, and Greg Biffle moved from their mansion in Mooresville to an apartment, Nicole Biffle’s lawsuit says. They married in 2007.

Greg Biffle still owns the Lake Norman home, which sits on 10 acres, Iredell County property records show. 

‘Sly’ Osteopath filmed sex with patient using hidden camera at Liverpool practice

Michael George Hammond avoided jail today – but not before his behaviour was branded ‘disgraceful’

By Tom Molloy & Liam Thorp

A ‘deceitful and sly’ Osteopath who filmed a sexual act with one of his patients using a hidden camera has avoided jail.

Michael George Hammond recorded the act using a camera hidden inside a pen on a shelf at his Liverpool practice to record the act.

The 61-year-old, of Llangoed in North Wales, pleaded guilty to voyeurism after an ex-partner and former patient of his found the recording while she was waiting to be seen by him at his Aigburth practice, The Daily Post reports.

At Caernarfon Crown Court, Judge Huw Rees described the act as “a deceitful and sly offence on a lady entitled to privacy and respect”.

He added that although the sexual act was consensual, the extent he went to in order to film it, without the victim’s knowledge, was one that required “considerable purpose of mind”.

Judge Rees said: “You sought out this pen, you purchased it, you secreted it in your treatment room and positioned it surreptitiously.

“You trespassed on her dignity and slyly invaded her privacy.”

Karl Scholz, prosecuting, called for a custodial sentence as he believed the offence fell within the category one sentencing guidelines for sexual assault, due to raised harm and raised culpability.

Paulinus Barnes, defending, said Hammond was remorseful and knew his career was probably over.

He said: “He knew from the outset that his behaviour was disgraceful.

“He abused the lady’s privacy and he is genuinely remorseful.

“He’s now had to close his business, his career is over, and he’s lost his good name. That’s quite some punishment in itself.”

He said aggravating factors including the place of the offence being Hammond’s clinic, the images being available to be viewed and the fact that Hammond appeared to use his position as a platform to abuse women.

Mr. Scholz also said the crime “involved planning and involved a breach of trust”.

Mr Barnes asked for any prison sentence to be suspended, reminded the judge of Hammond’s early guilty plea and pointing out that the recording wasn’t uploaded to the internet or distributed further.

Sentencing Hammond to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, Judge Rees described the offence as “entirely degrading” for the victim and told Hammond: “This is a substantial fall from grace for you, at the age of 61.”

Judge Rees also ordered Hammond to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, complete a 50-day rehabilitation rehabilitation activity requirement and pay victim surcharges within three months.

He also called for the recording to be destroyed.

Judge Rees added: “Any failures of these conditions, exceptional circumstances aside, you will be jailed”.

Creepy hostel owner caught using remote-controlled cameras hidden inside shampoo bottles to film women in the shower – and then put the clips on porn sites

New Zealand man pleaded guilty to charges related to secretly filming guests 
The court heard the man would film female guests at his homestay property 
He would put hidden cameras in shampoo bottles and upload footage online 

By ADAM MCCLEERY

A New Zealand man has pleaded guilty to secretly filming female guests while they showered at his homestay property by using cameras hidden in shampoo bottles. 

The Hawke’s Bay man faced the Hastings District Court and pleaded guilty to a combined 51 charges. 

The court heard he had made up to 219 recordings of 34 different women who had stayed with him before uploading them to a porn website. 

Stuff reported that the man would allow guests to us the shower in the property, but had to organise times first. 

Once those times were organized, the man would place shampoo bottles with hidden cameras around the bathroom and shower, the court heard. 

He would then use a remote control to turn them on, catching guests in the shower and undressing. 

He would wait until his house guests left the bathroom before retrieving the hidden cameras and uploading footage to his personal hard drive.

Once he had uploaded the videos online, he also encouraged users to leave ‘positive comments’, it was reported.

The court heard the man would caption the videos and describe his victims by race and occupation. 

In one case the man also added his own commentary to a video. 

The man’s identity was suppressed by the court, despite the pleas of crown prosecutor Steve Manning. 

‘There are 34 victims whose most intimate images have been spread all over the world,’ he said.  

The man’s lawyer, Matt Phelps, requested the suppression order to protect the man’s wife who he said suffers from a condition which would be compounded if he were identified,’ the New Zealand Herald reported.

Judge Geoff Rea imposed the suppression order and also granted the man bail pending his sentence at the Napier District Court in October.

The most serious charges the man faces carry a maximum jail term of 14 years.

Mystery surrounds device found in wallet near playground at Hamilton park

The person who discovered the wallet believes it housed a pinhole camera

Hamilton police detectives are trying to unravel a mystery after a strange electronic device was discovered hidden in a wallet left near a playground in an east end park.

By Adam Carter

A Reddit user who said they discovered the wallet posted that they believe it housed a pinhole camera and a battery, but police were not able to confirm that Friday afternoon.

“We’re not sure what this is,” Const. Lorraine Edwards told CBC News. “We can’t confirm that it’s a camera.”

Police say the wallet was found by park staff at Sam Mason Park near Queenston Road and Nash Road North.

Reddit user Jdm67 posted photos of the wallet Friday morning.

The poster said he or she opened up the wallet looking for a driver’s licence, but instead found what the poster believed to be a pinhole camera, a battery, and a memory card.

“It was set up near the playground with a hole for the camera to view through,” the post reads.

“It was still on, and it seemed like it may be streaming because the WiFi light was on still.”

Edwards said investigators are now trying to figure out who left the wallet there and why.  

She also said a wallet seems like an odd choice to house a device to surreptitiously record someone.

“If somebody meant harm by this, a wallet is the first thing that would be picked up at a park,” she said. 

Are millennials keeping their data safe?

Norton reports one in three millennials use the same password for all accounts; 53 percent have shared passwords with friends or family.

By DECCAN CHRONICLE

While the awareness level in millennials is high about the latest trends in technology and gadgets, it is alarming to see how the knowledge is not being translated well into practice, making them an easy prey for hackers. According to the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, one in three millennials use the same password for all accounts; approximately 53 percent of millennials have shared desktop passwords with friends or family members. These trends, witnessed amongst millennials, seem to have put them in a vulnerable position and a common victim of cybercrime.

“Despite a steady stream of cybercrime sprees reported by media, millennials appear to feel invincible and skip taking even basic precautions to protect themselves,” said Ritesh Chopra, Director, Norton business for India.  “This disconnect highlights the need for consumer cyber safety and the urgency for consumers to get back to basics when it comes to doing their part to prevent cybercrime.”

This International Youth Day, Norton would like to share tips on how millennials and consumers can take a few steps towards building a more secure online presence.

Craft a strong, unique password using a phrase that consists of a string of words that are easy for you to memorize, but hard for others to guess. Don’t tie your password to publicly available information as it makes it easier for the bad guys to guess your password. The longer, the better! Additionally, if your account or device enables it, consider two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security. Finally, once you’ve created a strong password, stick with it until you’re notified of a security breach. If you feel overwhelmed, use a password manager to help!
Using unprotected Wi-Fi can leave your personal data vulnerable to eavesdropping by strangers using the same network so avoid anything that involves sharing your personal information when connected to an open Wi-Fi network. If you do use public Wi-Fi, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your connection and help keep your information private.
Make it a habit to change default passwords on all network-connected devices, like smart thermostats or Wi-Fi routers, during set-up. If you decide not to use Internet features on various devices, such as smart appliances, disable or protect remote access as an extra precaution. Also, protect your wireless connections with strong Wi-Fi encryption so no one can easily view the data traveling between your devices.
Think twice before opening unsolicited messages or attachments, particularly from people you don’t know, or clicking on random links.
Protect your devices with a robust, multi-platform security software solution to help protect against the latest threats.

Creepy cab driver used hidden camera to secretly film under clothes of passengers

Cops only discovered the covert device after raiding David Whitehead’s home in connection with vile child sex abuse images.

By David Meikle

A taxi driver who installed a hidden camera to film under the clothing of unsuspecting passengers has been jailed for 22 months.

David Whitehead, 53, set up the covert device in a twisted bid to record members of the public as they traveled in his vehicle.

His seedy spying operation saw him capture footage of a passenger but it only came to light when police raided his home in connection with extreme child pornography.

Officers launched a dawn raid at the property in Cumbernauld, after a tip-off and discovered sickening clips and images.

The disturbing haul of 2503 photos and 1529 videos included extreme footage of abuse.

Whitehead appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court and admitted taking or permitting indecent images of children between August 2005 and August 2017.

He also admitted having the hidden camera in his car between August and September 2013.

He was jailed for 22 months by Sheriff Derek O’Carroll who also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The court was told Whitehead was stripped of his taxi license soon after his arrest last year.

Ross Brown, defending, said: “It is always very sad to have to represent a client who at a mature age comes before the court for the first time. In pleading guilty, I would reiterate that he takes full responsibility for his misdemeanors.

“I have spoken to him about the charge involving the taxi and he says there had been a number of attacks on colleagues and that was the primary reason for the installation of the camera but when it comes to the positioning of it, there was a secondary purpose for that.

“This was not an easy matter for him to come to terms with and have to disclose to his immediate and wider family. While not condoning it, they are supporting him in his recovery.

“He was formerly a good man but his fall from grace has been a significant one having to admit to these offenses.”

Depute fiscal Agnes Meek earlier told the court police raided Whitehead’s home after receiving information a device at his address had indecent images of children available for sharing.

She added: “A systematic search was carried out and a number of devices were seized. The accused, while standing in his kitchen in front of officers, stated, ‘It is all me, nothing to do with my boy’.”

Sentencing Whitehead, Sheriff O’Carroll said: “The placing of the camera with the view to take images of those using your taxi and also the fact that you were in a position of trust which you abused by placing it to take indecent images means there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”

Man stalked ex-partner using car tracking device and hidden camera

James Austin Yarwood was upset when his six year relationship hit a ‘rough patch’, court told.

A man who monitored his ex-partner’s movements using trackers and hidden cameras has pleaded guilty to stalking.

By Derek Bellis

James Austin Yarwood placed a tracker in her car’s glove compartment and a hidden camera beneath her TV so he could see her sitting on the sofa chatting to a visitor – even though he was at his father’s home in Leicester.

Llandudno magistrates court chairwoman Janet Ellis told the 30-year-old: “We are quite shocked at some of the things we have heard.”

The court heard the 30-year-old monitored the movements of his ex-partner with the aid of electronic devices because he was upset by a “rough patch” in their six-year relationship.

Gareth Parry, prosecuting, said Yarwood had also bombarded the victim with phone calls and texts.

Yarwood, of Lower Denbigh Road, St Asaph, pleaded guilty to stalking teacher Keilah Stewart at her home at Abergele between May and mid-June and was given a year’s community order.

He must pay his victim £200 compensation and costs of £170, with 100 hours of unpaid work and he must undertake a “building better relationships” programme with the probation service.

But she didn’t want a restraining order so he could maintain contact with two children.

Craig Hutchinson, defending, said Yarwood had a good job with a motor company.

“These were the actions of a desperate man trying to keep his relationship together”, he said.

He added: “There may be a time when the relationship will rekindle. The hope is that everyone will put this behind them.”