NYPD cop in court for allegedly hacking into the FBI
Hi-tech ambulance chasing with spy cams, malware, say g-men
A New York City Police Department auxiliary deputy inspector faces charges of hacking into a restricted NYPD computer and other law enforcement databases, including a system maintained by the FBI.
Yehuda Katz, 45, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly used the databases to obtain information about local traffic accident victims before posing as a lawyer and offering to get them compensation for their injuries, less a 14 per cent fee.
Katz allegedly used spy cams and malware to carry out the scam, claimed the FBI:
The defendant surreptitiously installed multiple electronic devices in the Traffic Safety Office of the NYPD’s 70th Precinct that allowed him to remotely access restricted NYPD computers and law enforcement databases, including one maintained by the FBI, that he did not have permission to access.
One of the electronic devices installed by the defendant contained a hidden camera that captured a live image of the Traffic Safety Office and was capable of live-streaming that image over the internet.
The second electronic device was connected to one of the computers in the Traffic Safety Office and allowed the computer to be accessed and controlled remotely.
Katz has been released on a $75,000 bond and the case is ongoing. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
“The charges in the complaint are merely allegations,” says the FBI’s own website, and “the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
The FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau worked together to investigate the case. Investigators alleged that Katz remotely logged onto an NYPD computer using usernames and passwords belonging to NYPD uniformed officers.
He is then said to have run thousands of queries in databases to identify accident victims before approaching individuals involved in traffic accidents, in one case posing as an attorney with the fictitious "Katz and Katz law firm".
Between May and August 2014, the defendant ran over 6,400 queries in sensitive law enforcement databases, according to an FBI statement on the case. ®