FBI Used Metadata to Catch CabinCr3w Hacker

According to an FBI affadavit, alleged CabinCr3w hacker Higinio O. Ochoa III was caught by FBI agents after posting a photo of his girlfriend online.

“Higino O. Ochoa III was charged with illegally hacking into U.S. law enforcement websites and releasing personal information of several U.S. police officers under the online name ‘w0rmer,'” writes Digital Journal’s JohnThomas Didymus. “He often taunted the police and boasted about his hacking accomplishments on several social networking sites.”

“The affidavit … says that in February a Twitter account with the name @AnonW0rmer, alleged to be Ochoa’s, pointed followers to a website where the information lifted from the law enforcement websites was displayed,” writes The Age’s Dan Oakes. ” At the bottom of the website was a photograph of woman – believed to be Ochoa’s Australian girlfriend – taken from the neck down and holding a sign saying ‘PwNd by w0rmer & CabinCr3w

“Whoever uploaded the photo, which was taken via an iPhone, failed to purge its metadata which revealed the GPS co-ordinates in an outer-Melbourne suburb where the photo was taken,” writes The Register’s John Leyden. “‘EXiF data from this picture shows that it taken with an iPhone 4 and edited with Photoshop,’ the complaint states. This GPS location allowed local police to easily track down the presumed residence of the woman pictured in the photo, believed to be Ochoa’s Australian girlfriend, and others like it in a similar vein promoting Anonymous.”

“But actually what finally linked it all together was when the FBI found Ochoa’s Facebook page, on which he named an Australian woman as his girlfriend,” writes TechEye’s Nick Farrell. “It turned out that she was the woman in the photo taken in South Wantirna. She is now in the United States with Ochoa, who will appear in court this week.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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