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Federal agents a former NASA contractor at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday, accusing him of sextortion.
According to the August 28 , Richard Gregory Bauer, 28, used Facebook to send questions to his victims for his purported “human societies class.” He asked his marks for things like their pets‘ names and where their parents met—queries that are often similar, if not identical, to prompts used in password-reset tools.
After doing so, he would seemingly use those passwords to access their accounts, sometimes stumbling upon nude or semi-nude photographs. Sometimes, he would convince victims to install malware that included keyloggers, enabling him to capture logins and passwords.
Prosecutors say Bauer would then send one or more copies of such photos to his female victims and demand more pictures. He allegedly would often what types of photos he wanted, such as “just underwear; your face doesn‘t have to be visible.”
If these women did not meet his demands, Bauer threatened to publish photos of them online. It is not clear how many of these women complied with his demands. He is believed to have targeted at least seven women.
Bauer was arraigned in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, where he entered a not guilty plea and was represented by Deputy Federal Public Defender Kelly Swanton. He was released on a $50,000 bond.