The malware Mijangos wrote was sophisticated, and he told federal authorities that he designed it specifically to be undetectable to antivirus programs.He then, according to court documents, “used [those] intimate images or videos of female victims he stole or captured to ‘sextort’ those victims, threatening to post those images or videos on the Internet unless the victims provided more.” Mijangos’s threats were not idle.
Sextortion cases involve what are effectively online, remote sexual assaults, sometimes over great distances, sometimes even crossing international borders, and sometimes―as with Mijangos―involving a great many victims.
In it, we look at the methods used by perpetrators and the prosecutorial tools authorities have used to bring offenders to justice.
We hope that by highlighting the scale and scope of the problem, and the brutality of these cases for the many victims they affect, to spur a close look at both state and federal laws under which these cases get prosecuted.
Our key findings include: The paper proceeds in several distinct parts.
We begin with a literature review of the limited existing scholarship and data on sextortion.
This is the new playground.” But while the FBI has issued numerous warnings about sextortion, the government publishes no data on the subject.