back to article NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

A former NASA contractor was arrested and charged on Wednesday for allegedly sextorting women. Richard Gregory Bauer, 28, was detained at his Los Angeles home by special agents from the space agency's internal watchdog. Bauer is accused of stalking, unauthorized access to protected computers, and aggravated identity theft, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another kind of "24"

    ... declined to comment on whether Bauer used NASA equipment in furtherance of his alleged scheme, but said a probe was launched after a coworker provided information to NASA's Office of Inspector General

    "Sir, the Hubble space telescope has been hacked!"

    "Jesus Christ, it's moving..."

    "It is now pointing to ... a suburban appartment in Houston???"

    "Beaming down data to unknown location."

    "Get me the president on line!!!"

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Another kind of "24"

      Luckily Hubble is utterly useless for earth observation use. I doubt the president has much to worry about. Many a astronomer will cry out in anguish though. The brightness of the earth in daylight might well damage the cameras.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another kind of "24"

        The brightness of the earth in daylight might well damage the cameras.

        Don't you inject realism into a Bauer Story.

  2. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    ...and also don't forget to a) keep all all your compromising pics online and of course b) taking lots of those in the first place...

    1. MrXavia
      Paris Hilton

      C) stop caring if someone sees you naked, we all get naked, we all (hopefully) enjoy sex.

      there are way worse things to happen than sex pictures/videos being posted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        there are way worse things to happen than sex pictures/videos being posted.

        Like a post being deleted by a moderator?

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  4. John Robson Silver badge

    And service providers...

    Stop treating my mother’s maiden name like it’s some kind of secret.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: And service providers...

      There's an easy workaround, just get your mum to change her maiden name every 4-6 weeks.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: And service providers...

      This.

      In pre-internet days the maiden name of a woman might be harder to find, but nowadays it's not hard. Often downright easy.

    3. Just Enough

      Re: And service providers...

      What you choose to tell service providers is your mother's maiden name can be a secret. If you want it to be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And service providers...

        "What you choose to tell service providers is your mother's maiden name can be a secret. If you want it to be."

        Yes, it's not like they check to make sure it's right. Make it whatever you want. My password storage program has a notes section that now stores all my answers to those questions. So if they don't match the real world answers so much the better.

        I started saving them so I didn't have to remember if I included the state for town names and other stuff like "Whats your favorite food", from five years ago when I set up the account.

        1. Cubical Drone

          Re: And service providers...

          That is the best way to go about it. Treat those answers like the passwords that they are.

      2. 9Rune5

        Re: And service providers...

        What you choose to tell service providers is your mother's maiden name can be a secret.

        Am I the only one suffering from password reset angst?

        My reasoning is this: They ask these silly questions because it is their only way to reset my password. I.e. if I forget my mother's maiden name, my account details will be lost forever and an ogre will eat my dwelling.

        Of course I have tried supplying smarty pants responses to those stupid questions. And of course those smarty pants responses are completely forgotten one week later.

        I am much more comfortable with 2FA. As long as I don't forget my mobile phone anywhere.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Am I the only one who treats "security questions" like additional passwords?

          Only a fool gives real answers for them since they provide a backdoor even a super-strong password can't defend against. I might have my mother's maiden name listed as Google22 on one site, then have the name of my first pet listed at Baseball on another.

          Can't even use the same answers for all of them, since they have different questions and given that even passwords aren't always encrypted its a safe bet these are stored in plaintext in most sites.

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: And service providers...

        "What you choose to tell service providers is your mother's maiden name can be a secret. If you want it to be."

        You know that, I know that, most people here know that...

        But the general population doesn't.

        And the insistence on using such data from 'trusted' institutions (like banks and the tech giants) means that people just answers...

    4. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: And service providers...

      And stop treating my home town like it’s some kind of secret ESPECIALLY if you're not accepting anything under 8 characters!

      Retards.

  5. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    WTF?

    "For six of the women, according to the US government, Bauer did have nude pictures, which he obtained by hacking the victims' accounts with Facebook, Google, and other online services."

    Good grief. Is there anyone who ISN'T keeping nude pictures of themselves online these days?!

    1. MrXavia
      Big Brother

      Nope, because cloud storage is default and there are no good local backup options being pushed.

    2. onefang Silver badge

      I think we have to differentiate private and public online nude photos. Putting nude selfies online so you can share them with your lover, they might be a problem. Putting nude selfies on a social web site that allows the sharing of nude photos to world+dog, then you obviously don't care if the wrong dog gets a copy and threatens to send them to the rest of the world.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well, I certainy am

      But then I'm not a very attactive person, and some of them are rather shocking.

    4. BongoJoe

      Facebook would perhaps tell me to stop, if I ever did.

    5. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Beernard

      [Insert Crickets sound here]

    6. John 110
      Meh

      "Good grief. Is there anyone who ISN'T keeping nude pictures of themselves online these days?!"

      Tentatively raises hand, unsure as to what the cool answer would be...

    7. Paul_Murphy

      >Good grief. Is there anyone who ISN'T keeping nude pictures of themselves online these days?!

      Well one of those women wasn't, for starters.

      I'm also not doing that, so there are at least two of us that don't store nude pics of ourselves online.

      Anyone else?

    8. Mark 110 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      "Good grief. Is there anyone who ISN'T keeping nude pictures of themselves online these days?!"

      Good grief - how do you expect other people to see them if they aren't online. Kind of the point in the first place!!!

    9. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Is there anyone who ISN'T...

      That'd be me, I'm afraid. If I'm built like an ogre, it wouldn't be terribly nice to scare poor buggers with explicit pictures.

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Is there anyone who ISN'T...

        I used to; Had to take them down.

        Various animal protection agencies wanted to prosecute me for animal cruelty. Something to do with the mange ridden, starving, blind, lame, overweight, rabid animal I was keeping.

        Not very flattering.

    10. Jtom Bronze badge

      I don’t, but you will know when I do. That will be the day when everyone tosses their electronics (and maybe their cookies). It will be the same as when I buy stock in a company; everyone suddenly wants to sell theirs.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Richard Gregory Bauer" - No relation to Jack I take it?

  7. TheProf
    Facepalm

    It's not rocket science

    Why do people put 'compromising' images on 'social media' websites?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not rocket science

      A combination of pesticides in food, bad suspension chemicals in flue shots, dumbed down education, moral less and dishonest TV shows and news - all come together to make people super stupid.

      All we need is a TV show showing that if you jump off a building high enough that 1% of people can fly, and 20% of people would jump. If a show like that ever comes out, I will avoid walking near tall buildings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not rocket science

        lol only 1 in 6 understand sarcasm

      2. earl grey Silver badge
        Headmaster

        bad suspension chemicals in flue shots

        FLU - short for influenza.

        FLUE - a duct for smoke and waste gases

      3. paulll

        Re: It's not rocket science

        AC, judging from your comment I'm guessing you're not too worried about catching the flue.

    2. GnuTzu Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: It's not rocket science -- No, It's Cloud Marketing

      "Why do people put 'compromising' images on 'social media' websites?"

      There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are aware of all the hidden Internet uploads done by so many apps (seriously, you'd be shocked if you'd ever used F12, Fiddler, Wireshark, or watched proxy traffic) and those who blindly believe everything the sales people tell you.

      It's not simple stupidity; it's a culture of stupid. That's why they call them sheeple.

      1. anonanonanon

        Re: It's not rocket science -- No, It's Cloud Marketing

        Ugh, coz casual phone users should be experts on every software tool out there. Force every smartphone user to take computer science...

        Jeez, it's not always the users that are stupid.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not rocket science

      Ah yes, the old "blame the victim" routine.

      1. EnviableOne Bronze badge
        Mushroom

        Re: It's not rocket science

        who blatently gave a way the keys to their virtual kingdom, just cos someone said it was for a school project.

        Three simple questions to ask yourself about anyone wanting info from you:

        Are they who they say they are?

        Do they need to know this information to do what I asked them to?

        Do they need to ask me for it?

        not rocket surgery or even brain science.

        wake up sheeple

        1. Martin
          Happy

          Re: It's not rocket science

          Upvote for the simple and sensible questions.

          Mulitple downvotes for "wake up sheeple".

          But I can only downvote once.

          1. Mark 110 Silver badge

            Re: It's not rocket science

            @Martin

            Sorry, misclicked you a downvote. I saw the word sheeple and ignored context and rhythm. Dreadful fucking word. Off back up the thread to downvote whoever you were quoting.

  8. Jame_s

    why?

    do people insist on using truthful answers to security questions that can easily be found with a little bit of research?

    they don't actually know your mother's maiden name wasn't "nofuckingwayimgivingyoutherealanswer"

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: why?

      Personally, I always use variations on 'Olive Cromwell'.

      Exits, humming 'The Wearing of the Green'.

    2. GnuTzu Bronze badge

      Re: why? -- "answers to security questions"

      Security questions are so problematic, and those pre-defined questions are often for things that are really way too easy to look up. And, that means that users who depend upon experts to help them stay safe aren't getting what the need and are being mislead. Oh, and don't set the answer to a security question with anything you've posted on social media, please.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. fm+theregister

    what is wrong with the good old porn?

    plenty of websites to go for FREE porn, why the heck go after women ONLINE????

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: what is wrong with the good old porn?

      One word: power.

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