A Dutch politician could be living his last days at large, as he is facing a sentence of up to three years in prison for a hacking scandal. According to information security specialists, the politician aspiring faces charges for having compromised hundreds of iCloud accounts.
Mitchel Van der K, a marketing worker nominated
for the municipal council of the Dutch city of Almere, had to abandon his
fledgling political career after an investigation concluded that he was
responsible for deciphering iCloud accounts to extract confidential information
and files, such as the sex video of a famous Dutch vlogger a couple of years
ago, among pics and videos belonging to many other women.
Authorities in the Netherlands claim Van der K
compromised hundreds of accounts, repeatedly violating the privacy of the
victims. Shortly after the authorities tracked him down, Van der K was arrested
and his home was raided.
This week, the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office
appealed for a three-year sentence for Van der K, who was a member of VVD, a
Dutch political party. According to information security specialists, the
politician hacked the iCloud accounts of both local celebrities and people
close to him.
In addition to photos and videos, Van der K
extracted from hacked iCloud accounts financial information, family data and
some details about services hired by victims.
The defendant has already admitted his guilt on
multiple occasions, so he has only waiting for his sentence. As for his
motivations, Van der K claims that he hacked these iCloud accounts because he
was being extorted. Another extortionist allegedly threatened to reveal his own
compromising material if he did not leak photos and videos of some celebrities
in the Netherlands.
However, more than half of the iCloud accounts
that Van der K hacked belong to women the criminal knew for his work or
personal life, so authorities have plenty of reason to doubt his version. The
defendant will know his sentence next Christmas’ eve.
According to information security specialists
from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), these kinds of
incidents occur frequently and threat actors use various methods to infiltrate
their victims’ cloud accounts. One of the most popular ways is sending messages
that appear to come from Internet service companies. The use of phishing emails is also common in this kind of crime.
In other cases password breakers were used,
programs to guess the passwords of some accounts and whose use requires very
little hacking knowledge, moreover, they are available to any user, mention the
information security specialists.
As a recommendation, users should remember that
companies never request their personal data by email; ignoring suspicious or
linking messages to external sites is also critical.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.