THE FBI has confirmed that an Irish teen was forced to strip online to stop an extortionist from spreading nude photographs of her.
The alleged extortionist then emailed the current Miss Teen USA to tell her that she better follow the Irish girl's example or else she too would have her naked photos made public.
The bizarre case raises questions about the security of computer webcams - which the stalker was allegedly able to turn on and off to take photographs of dozens of teenagers in their own bedrooms.
The device, used on thousands of Irish computers for video chats on Skype and other online services, was manipulated to secretly record at least two Irish women, the FBI said.
A criminal complaint against 19-year-old Californian suspect Jared James Abrahams says that her hacked into women's computer video cameras and secretly recorded them as they walked around naked in their bedrooms or were changing clothes.
When blackmailed last April, the Irish girl pleaded for mercy: “Please remember I'm only 17. Have a heart” before agreeing to strip for him to stop him posting naked photos of her online.
After she begged for him to show mercy, alleged Abrahams is said to have emailed: “I'll tell you this right now! I do NOT have a heart!!! However I do stick to my deals! Also age doesn't mean a thing to me!!!”
The Irish teen is identified by the initials “M.M” by the FBI. Abrahams communicated with her after having hacking into her Hotmail account.
According to an affidavit by FBI agent and cybercrimes specialist, Julie Patton, she and other FBI agents found that M.M was living in Ireland by searching information online.
Patton said in her affidavit that on April 11 last, M.M. agreed to download Skype and show all over her naked body to her anonymous blackmailer so that he would not distribute naked photos of her he had already captured on her hacked webcam.
Agent Patton wrote that M.M's dilemma showed “the difficulty the victims had with the choices Abrahams gave them”.
Abrahams, a computer science student, then used the Irish girl's immediate compliance as an example when he tried to pull off the same crime against current Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, a month later.
He hacked into Wolf's computer, changed her Facebook password and posted a half naked photo of her as her Twitter profile.
He then told her that he would post “a lot more” naked photos of her unless she either sent him more naked photos of herself or did everything he wanted her to do for five minutes on a Skype video call.
Agent Patton said that he then emailed Wolf and told her that she should follow the “immediate compliance” shown by Irish teen, M.M.
The FBI says that he also preyed on other Irish women, as well as the current Miss Teen USA and dozens of other victims.
Abrahams was released on $50,000 bond in Los Angeles on Thursday and will be fitted with electronic monitoring device. He is due to be arraigned on November 4.