Auxiliary officer accused of hacking into NYPD computers
A New York City Auxiliary Deputy Inspector was arrested on charges of hacking into a restricted NYPD computer and other sensitive law enforcement databases. Auxillary Deputy Inpector Yehuda Katz was taken into custody early Tuesday morning
Police say 45-year-old Yehuda Katz, assigned to the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, obtained personal identifying information of traffic accident victims and fraudulently posed as an attorney soliciting clients.
“The defendant allegedly used his position as an auxiliary officer to hack into restricted computers and networks in order to obtain the personal information of thousands of citizens in a scheme to enrich himself through fraud,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said. “The threat posed by those who abuse positions of trust to engage in insider attacks is serious, and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute such attacks.”
The complaint filed by the prosecutor states that Katz surreptitiously installed multiple electronic devices in the Traffic Safety Office of the NYPD’s 70th Precinct, which allowed him to remotely access restricted NYPD computers. He also had access to other restricted law enforcement agencies and FBI database.
The police also stated that Katz used a hidden camera that captured a live image of the Traffic Safety Office and was capable of live-streaming that image over the Internet. He also had a spyware installed on one of the computers in the Traffic Safety Office and allowed the computer to be accessed and controlled remotely.
The police state that Katz remotely logged into the computers using usernames and passwords belonging to NYPD uniformed officers and ran thousands of queries in databases, including a restricted law enforcement database maintained by the FBI.
Katz allegedly accessed information related to traffic accidents in the greater New York City area and contacted the individuals to allegedly help them in processing legal claims. The police allege that he used fictitious “Katz and Katz law firm” and told the victims that “I can advise you with 100 percent confidence that I can resolve this claim in your favor,” and “My fee is 14 percent only when you collect. And I know that you will collect.”
Katz ran around 6400 queries on the sensitive law enforcement computers in between May and August 2014 according to police