A computer service technician is accused of planting spyware on dozens of women’s computers that allowed him to remotely activate their webcams to watch them in their homes.
Trevor Harwell, 20, was arrested Wednesday and later released on bail bonds.
Harwell worked for a company called Rezitech, Inc., and provided computer service to users with computers. “While he had physical access to the computers, he would install a spyware-type application that allowed him remote access to the user’s computer and webcam,” Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said.
“Once he had access, he would take photographs of the users, usually women. Often, the female victims were undressed or changing clothes. Harwell then stored the photos on a remote server, and eventually downloaded them to his own computer.”
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of images were collected by the police department.
In 2010 when a Fullerton resident contacted police about suspicious messages that were appearing on his daughter’s computer, the police then began to investigate.
Goodrich said one of these messages, which mimicked the appearance of a system message, said “You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor.”
In response to this message, many of the victims would take their laptops into the bathroom while taking a shower.
The Police have found numerous victims, all of them adult females.
Still images, videos, and cell phone videos of women, were all seized from Harwell’s computer.
Many of the victims also attended Biola University.
The suspect used a program called “Camcapture” that was installed on the victims’ hard drives.
Detectives believe Harwell also potentially exploited Macintosh computers that were connected to Biola University’s internal network.
Goodrich said potential victims should search the “/Library/WebServer/Documents” directory for the “Camcapture” program.
Persons who believe they may be a victim of Trevor Harwell should contact their local police department or Fullerton Police Detective Kathryn Hamel at (714) 738-5327.