ADT technician pleads guilty after spying on hundreds of customers for ‘sexual gratification’

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MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 16: An ADT home security alarm sign is seen in front of a home on February 16, 2016 in Miami, Florida. It was announced today that home security firm ADT was purchased by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $6.9 billion. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

DALLAS (NEXSTAR) – A former ADT employee pleaded guilty in Texas court Thursday after admitting he hacked into the security feeds of hundreds of customers for “sexual gratification,” prosecutors say.

Telesforo Aviles, 35, pleaded guilty to computer fraud on Thursday.

Aviles broke ADT policy and added his own personal email address to customer “ADT Pulse” accounts, giving him access to real-time footage from their cameras, according to the plea document. In some cases he would call the customer and say he needed to add his email to “test” the system and in other cases he did it without their knowledge.

Investigators say Aviles would look through the security feeds, making note of the homes where attractive women lived. According to plea papers, Aviles watched numerous videos of naked women and couples engaging in sexual activity.

“This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers’ homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust.”

Aviles admitted to accessing roughly 200 accounts over four and a half years, during which he watched security footage more than 9,600 times.

ADT said in a statement on April 23, 2020 that they learned of the hack when a customer called to say there was an unauthorized email on their ADT account.

“Unfortunately, our investigation revealed that during a service visit, one of our Dallas-area technicians had added his personal email address to this customer’s account to gain unauthorized access, and he had done the same thing during service visits with other customers in the Dallas area,” the April, 2020 statement read.

ADT said they immediately fired Telesforo, contacted law enforcement and then notified the “220 Dallas-area customers we know were affected.”

The security company issued a statement on its website Friday saying, “We are grateful for the Dallas FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for holding Telesforo Aviles responsible for a federal crime.”

Aviles now faces up to five years in federal prison.

“Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords. If you become the victim of a cybercrime, please contact the FBI through ic3.gov or 1-800-CALL FBI.”

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