Cyberstalker’s ‘anonymous’ VPM leads to his police arrest by federal agents

Cyberstalker's 'anonymous' VPM leads to his arrest by federal agents

Image: sergei konkov/tass through getty images

The turned exploits of a Massachusetts’ cyberstalker have got ended, but his failed efforts at anonymity show that it’s extremely difficult to traverse the web as a mysterious, incognito figure.

On April. 6, the U. S. Section of Justice announced that it imprisoned Ryan Lin, 24, for leading a lengthy cyberstalking campaign against their former roommate, her family, plus friends. Court documents reveal that Lin attempted to shroud himself in secrecy, using a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) and anonymous texting providers to stay untraceable. Lin’s vigilant attempts, however , failed.  

“Those who think they can use the Internet to terrorize people and hide behind the anonymity of the net and outwit law enforcement should think again,” mentioned Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco, in a statement.   

Lin, a pc science graduate, employed his web-savvy to abuse and harass their former roommate, Jennifer Smith, through afar. The list of depraved criminal offenses are extensive. For instance, Lin snuck into Smith’s room (while these were roommates) and accessed her journal, which she stored in Google Generate. Lin later sent Smith’s intimate, psychological, and medical history to countless people, including her parents, colleagues, and 13-year old sister.  

“Those who think they can use the Internet to terrorize people and hide behind the anonymity of the net and outwit law enforcement should think again.”

Lin employed a host of anonymizing tactics to wipe his songs when terrorizing and defaming Jones. Lin hid his location using the Tor web browser (a free software program which “bounces your communications in regards to distributed network of relays”) plus VPNs, anonymizing services that allow you to entry the internet from a location far from your own actual home â€? perhaps around the world.

But the feds ultimately sleuthed Lin out, in part mainly because many VPNs are not truly private.  

After getting hold Lin’s old work computer (Lin had been fired from a software company), researchers found that the VPN program PureVPN had been used on the computer. Federal agencies then contacted PureVPN, which offered “records” of Lin’s activity. Particularly, the records showed that Lin used PureVPN to access an email account he used to harass Jones from two locations: his house and work addresses.  

Lin may have been duped by PureVPN marketing, which clearly states on the homepage that there are “NO logs of the activities. “

Everything today, nevertheless , seems to be logged, making anonymity the nearly impossible feat. Tinder keeps records of your conversations, Google can read your own e-mail, and anonymizing web businesses lie about their tactics.  

This might be unsettling for anyone along with privacy concerns. But it’s poor news for sick cyberstalkers.

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