April 2023

Married dad-of-three hacked hundreds of webcams to watch women undress and have sex

A married father-of-three hacked into hundreds of webcams around the world to spy on females undressing and having sex.

Christopher Taylor, 60, from Abram, Wigan, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court on Monday to securing unauthorised access to computer material, voyeurism and possession of extreme pornography. He will be sentenced on Tuesday.

The court heard Taylor tricked 772 people in 39 countries to unwittingly relinquish control of their webcams so he could monitor their private lives.

He used the malware “Cammy” over a three-year-period to log to victims’ devices without them knowing.

Police believe that Taylor watched 47 females engage in sexual activity with their partners from his laptop.

He was caught after staff at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US city of Atlanta alerted the FBI when the malware was found on the laptop of a student at the university’s aerospace laboratory.

The court heard that when police in the UK later raided his home in 2016, Taylor, a full-time carer for his wife Wendy, said: Its just what Ive been meddling with on the computer.

Taylor had amassed about 80,000 images and videos from his voyeurism between August 2012 and July 2015.

There were also 82 bestiality related images and videos, the court was told.

Taylor lured his victims with a phony link he placed on pornography sites, which, when clicked, would allow him full access to their laptops.

US officials had asked for Taylor to be extradited to the US to face trial for wire fraud and computer fraud but a UK court ruled it out.

Neil Fryman, prosecuting, said of Taylor on Monday: He downloaded these malware viruses and learnt how to spread them onto pornography websites.

“He used torrent files to upload the malware on to various websites and disguise it as another link for a programme called ‘Cammy’, which was described as all-in-one camera alarm system.

“Individuals were invited to click the link, thinking they were going to view porn. Once they had done so, the defendant gained access to their laptop features, including their webcam. He hid his online identity using obfuscation software, making him hard to track.”

The prosecutor added: “He had many more thousands of files saved on his computer that had never been downloaded.

“Many of these images and videos captured people eating, working, lying in bed and doing yoga.

“However, there were also a number of images that showed people in various stages of undress and involved in sexual activity. In total, 47 victims were pictured engaging in sexual activity.”