Local Computer Hacker Arrested
The Belleair Police Department working with the United States Secret Service
and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph B. Campbell, age 24,
of Largo FL on four counts of offenses against computer users. Evidence shows
that Campbell has been moving freely in the victims' email accounts, without
their consent, since July 2010. Victims only became aware of the intrusion
when personal pictures started to show up as their profile pictures in their
Facebook accounts with a link to another website that showed these pictures
with their names, high school they attended and year of graduation.
The victims' pictures were private in nature and were mostly found in the sent
folder of their email accounts. One of the victims, who resided in Belleair,
contacted the police department when she started receiving text messages from
friends about the inappropriate pictures that had been posted on her Facebook.
Almost all of the victims went to high school in Pinellas County and ran in
the same circle of friends. Campbell also attended high school in Pinellas
County and was acquainted with several of the victims. Secret Service became
interested in the case because several of the victims now live outside the
State of Florida and they specialize in these types of computer crimes.
Records show that Campbell was still breaking into email accounts in May 2011
without the victims' knowledge.
Campbell would peruse a female's Facebook and obtain her email address. He
would then send an electronic greeting card which would direct the female to
what she thought was her email provider, such as Google or Yahoo mail. Her
email address would appear on the screen and she was directed to enter her
password which a program captured. Campbell then accessed the victim's email
account and obtained personal information and pictures which he posted on a
web site. Campbell then wanted money or other personal pictures of females
from people who wanted to visit his web site. Campbell used several computer
techniques to attempt to conceal his identity. After he was arrested, he
admitted to accessing between 350 and 500 email accounts. Campbell was booked
into the Pinellas County Jail on four charges and has additional state and
federal charges pending.