The FBI has reportedly charged Texas-based Higinio O. Ochoa III of hacking into the websites of at least four law enforcement agencies and releasing the private information of dozens of police officers including home addresses, home telephone numbers and mobile phone numbers. The affidavit also claims that Ochoa is a member of "CabinCr3w," a splinter group of the activist collective Anonymous.
The FBI reports that Ochoa was caught thanks to a picture of his alleged Melbourne, Australia girlfriend that he posted on the internet. Back in February, the then-hacking suspect allegedly posted a link on Twitter (as @AnonW0rmer) that sent followers to an external website hosting the image. Followers gazed upon a headless woman's bikini-clad chest and a message taped underneath stating "PwNd by w0rmer & CabinCr3w <3 u BiTch's."
After analyzing the photo, the FBI determined that it was taken by an iPhone. GPS co-ordinates were also lifted from the image, leading officials to the exact South Wantirna street and house where the busty photo was taken. Given this outer-Melbourne suburb address was likely her residence, it wasn't much of a lead at this point.
But then Ochoa reportedly posted another link on Twitter that led to a website railing against "oppression by police departments around the world … EVERY police department is at risk and will remain that way …" It's not clear as to how this link helped lead the FBI to Ochoa, but it was followed-up by another Twitter link leading to second picture of a headless woman -- believed to be his alleged girlfriend again -- with a sign stating "We Are ALL Anonymous We NEVER Forgive. We NEVER Forget. <3 @Anonw0rmer."
At this point, the FBI had knowledge of his Twitter account, his "w0rmer" alias, and his affiliation with Anonymous and CabinCr3w. They also had the address of an Australian woman associated with the suspect. However the FBI eventually uncovered references to his "w0rmer" alias on unconnected websites, one of which had Ochoa's actual name alongside it. At that point, they somehow used his real name to acquire an IP address and track him down here in the United States. The FBI put his Texas-based apartment under surveillance, but they still needed more evidence.
Then came the big break the FBI was looking for. The agency found Ochoa on Facebook where he openly named the Australian girl as his girlfriend, thus connecting his Facebook account to the Twitter account and the images of the unnamed Australian girl. The Age reports that she is now in the United States with Ochoa who was scheduled to appear in criminal court in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, April 10.