A man from Cambridgeshire, who used malware to spy on unknowing victims through their personal webcams, has been jailed for three years.
Detectives were alerted to Shaun Turner's criminal activities after they noticed he was using a malware system known as a Remote Access Trojan or ‘RAT’.
The software meant he could download all files held on his victims’ computers – including their personal pictures, videos and identity documents.
He also streamed live images from his victims’ webcams to watch on his computer.
Officers identified a number of Turner's victims, who he had never met. The youngest was just 15-years-old.
Police believe there may be many more victims who they haven't been able to identify.
An investigation of Turner’s devices showed he had accessed pornographic websites at the same time as looking his victims’ photos.
Turner, 29, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to five offences. They include:
Possession of indecent images of a child
Crimes under the Computer Misuse Act - including refusing to provide his encryption key for his computer files
He was sentenced to three years in prison at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday.
He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years, restricting his future access to children and the internet.
“This case shows the insidious effects that cyber criminals can have on people’s personal lives, demonstrated in the fact that Turner accessed his victims’ computers and personal information without their knowledge.