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Former Yahoo employee pleads guilty to accessing 6,000 user accounts looking for sexually explicit images

He specifically targeted younger women, including friends and co-workers

Miguel Candela / SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former Yahoo employee has pleaded guilty to accessing 6,000 user accounts in order to find sexually explicit images that he could download and store on his own devices.

Here's what we know

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California revealed that Reyes Daniel Ruiz of Tracy, California, admitted to "hacking into the accounts of thousands of Yahoo users in search of private and personal records, primarily sexual images and videos of the account holders."

Ruiz, 34, admitted to having "cracked user passwords, and accessed internal Yahoo systems to compromise the Yahoo accounts."

When Ruiz selected an account for hacking, he specifically looked for ones belonging to younger women. He also reportedly targeted women he knew, including friends and colleagues. When he found pictures or videos that he wanted to keep, he would download them and store them at his home.

In addition to the 6,000 Yahoo accounts, he also "admitted to compromising the iCloud, Facebook, Gmail, DropBox, and other online accounts of the Yahoo users in search of more private images and videos."

He destroyed his computer and hard drive after his employer began to figure out what he was doing.

A federal grand jury indicted Ruiz on April 4. Ruiz pleaded guilty to a single count of computer intrusion. He was also charged with a single count of interception of a wire communication.

He has been released on a $200,000 bond. He will be sentenced on Feb. 3 in San Jose, California, and could face five years in prison and a $250,000 plus restitution fine.

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