Telesforo Aviles, a technician working for ADT, has admitted to spying on 200 different customers, including watching couples having sex, for more than four years while at the company.
Aviles, 35, pleaded guilty to the charges of computer fraud on Thursday this week, after being fired from ADT in April 2020 for his actions, which were branded “disgusting” by Dallas Attorney Prerak Shah.
By adding his own personal email to the accounts of the ADT customers, Aviles had been able to hack into the home security systems and watch people in their own living rooms.
He admitted to selecting “attractive” customers and watching them — including while they were naked or having sex — more than 9,600 times between 2016-2020. He now faces five years in federal prison.
Attorney Shah condemned Aviles’s behavior in court this week, saying he intruded on the most intimate moments of people’s lives and betrayed the trust of hundreds of customers.
In May last year, ADT customers came forward to sue the company for what one victim described as “the ultimate invasion of privacy.”
Amy Johnson, who believes Aviles had been spying on her, said it was “scary” to think somebody had access to her family’s home video feed and was watching them in the living room “so many times.”
Aviles would trick the customers into allowing his details to be added to their system by saying he needed to test it. In some cases, he would add his personal email account without the customer even knowing.
Amy Johnson’s husband, Richard Johnson, said he was surprised ADT did not have a stronger security system to prevent this type of fraud from being committed.
Matthew DeSarno, of the FBI, encouraged people to regularly review the accounts which have access to their home security systems and contact the FBI if they believe themselves to be victims of cyber fraud.
DeSarno explained: “The defendant used his position of employment to illegally breach the privacy of numerous people. The FBI works with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate all cyber intrusions and hold criminals accountable for their actions. Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public. We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords.”
He concluded by: “If you become the victim of a cybercrime, please contact the FBI through ic3.gov or 1-800-CALL FBI.”
The case was a wake-up call for many.