A former ADT employee entrusted with maintaining home security cameras has pleaded guilty to hacking into video feeds to watch couples having sex. ADT Inc provides residential, small and large business electronic security, fire protection, and other related alarm-monitoring services throughout the United States.
The company’s motto, “Protection you can trust from the leader in smart home security,” has recently lost a bit of oomph after an ADT employee was caught spying on customers’ video feeds.
This week, Telesforo Aviles, a 35-year-old former ADT technician, pleaded guilty to computer fraud and admitted he repeatedly hacked into customers’ video feeds “to view their footage for sexual gratification,” according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas.
Aviles accessed roughly 200 customer accounts more than 9,600 times without their consent over 4.5 years, court papers say.
According to plea papers, Aviles routinely added his personal email address to customers’ ‘ADT Pulse’ accounts to gain real-time access to the video feeds from their homes.
“In some instances, he claimed he needed to add himself temporarily in order to ‘test’ the system; in other instances, he added himself without their knowledge,” according to the press release.
“Mr. 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, he admits. Plea papers indicate he watched numerous videos of naked women and couples engaging in sexual activity inside their homes,” the report says.
The discovery was apparently made in the first half of 2020, when ADT was being sued by customers affected by Aviles’ crimes, tech-gate.org reports.
Amy Johnson, one of Aviles’ victims, told reporters in September, “It’s just the ultimate invasion of privacy. It’s very scary to realize that someone has access and was watching us for such a long time and so many times in our main living room.”
In a statement last year, ADT said: “The company has been actively assisting law enforcement, including the FBI, in their investigation to help bring justice to Aviles’ victims.We understand that this incident jeopardizes that trust and is entirely unacceptable. We will make extraordinary efforts to earn back that trust.”
Aviles faces up to five years in federal prison for his crimes.
FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno advises security cam owners to “practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords.”