According to a recent filing by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a 35-year-old home security technician formerly working for ADT, Telesforo Aviles, has pleaded guilty to repeatedly hacking into hundreds of customers’ video feeds.
“This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers’ homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments,” says acting U.S. attorney Prerak Shah. “We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust.”
Aviles admits that contrary to company policy, he routinely added his personal email address to customers’ “ADT Pulse” accounts, giving himself real-time access to the video feeds from their homes, according to plea papers. In some cases, Aviles claimed he needed to add himself temporarily in order to “test” the system. In other cases, he added himself to customers’ accounts without their knowledge.
ADT Seeks Justice for Over 200 Customers in Dallas Area
According to an article on CNET, ADT discovered the breach last April, not long after a customer complained to the company about an unauthorized email on an account. After investigating the incident, ADT found out Aviles added himself to those accounts in order to watch customer feeds without their knowledge, often with sexually motivated intentions.
“The defendant used his position of employment to illegally breach the privacy of numerous people. The FBI works with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate all cyber intrusions and hold criminals accountable for their actions,” says FBI Dallas special agent in charge Matthew J. DeSarno.
“Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public. We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords. If you become the victim of a cybercrime, please contact the FBI through ic3.gov or 1-800-CALL FBI.”
Aviles took note of which homes had attractive women, then repeatedly logged into these customers’ accounts in order to view their footage for sexual gratification. Documents also indicate he watched numerous videos of naked women and couples engaging in sexual activity inside their homes.
“Our customers trust ADT with their safety and protection,” says ADT in a statement released back in April 2020 when the company first learned about the situation. “We understand that this incident jeopardizes that trust and is entirely unacceptable. We will make extraordinary efforts to earn back that trust.”
Aviles admits that over a four and a half year period, he secretly accessed roughly 200 customer accounts more than 9,600 times without their consent. He now faces up to five years in federal prison.