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2 Westmoreland men indicted in federal Snapchat hacking case | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Two Westmoreland County men are among seven people who were indicted by a federal grant jury in Erie alleging they conspired to hack into Snapchat accounts, steal explicit photos and videos and distribute them on the web, federal prosecutors said.

Edward Michael Grabb, 31, of Jeannette and Michael Paul Yackovich, 27, of West Newton are charged with conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Yackovich faces an additional fraud count.

Others accused in the conspiracy are: Richard Alan Martz Jr., 33, of Meadville; Dylan Michael Miller, 30, of West Mifflin; Christopher Clampitt, 33, of North Carolina; Luke Robert Swinehart, 22, of Lock Haven; and Karlin Terrell Jones, 26, of Beaver Falls.

Arrest warrants were issued, and the case was unsealed Tuesday.

FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall called the actions the suspects are accused of “predatory.” U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan said there are hundreds of victims, some of whom are minors. Authorities believe there are additional victims who have not been identified.

Anyone who believes they might have had their accounts hacked may contact the victim witness coordinator at usapaw.victimwitness@usdoj.gov.

The men are accused of roles in the scheme between March 2020 and October 2022, according to the indictment.

The suspects are accused of copying onto digital devices explicit photos and videos stored in users’ Snapchat accounts and then trading, sharing, seeking and receiving the files over the internet and on social media.

They also are accused of teaching others how to hack accounts, according to the indictment. Yackovich is accused of receiving payment or attempting to receive payment for those lessons, and all seven men are accused of sending and/or receiving payment for the files.

Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of Yackovich’s iPad, iPhone, a USB drive and a computer.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta by email at rsignorini@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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