On 17th October 2014 agents of the Spanish National Police arrested a 32-year-old resident in Cordoba city, Spain on suspicion of corruption of minors, possession and distribution of child pornography, fraud threats and telecommunications offences. 

The arrested person contacted dozens of children contacted through social networks and through grooming techniques, and enticed them to submit photos of themselves in a sexual nature. In the search of his home investigators found about 500,000 images of children spread over different computers. He had hacked into the wifi networks from neighbours to chat with his victims and try to avoid detection by police.

Report of a mother

The origin of the research was the complaint filed in May 2014 by the mother of one of the victims who, by chance, discovered as their minor child held a conversation in a private chat in a social network with a young, apparently of the same age, which had sent photographs and videos of sexually explicit nature of himself and his younger brother. Faced with the possibility that he was the subject of a case of grooming, he opted immediately make it known to the police.

Police agents launched a complex investigation, which initially focused on the inspection of the profile on this social network of person with whom he had shared the images with sexual content. The researchers could see that in the said profile had added another 80 contacts, all of them male minors.

40 photos obtained under the province of Córdoba

In parallel and in order to locate other possible victims, officers were able to determine that 40 minors living in Cordoba province, had also sent him intimate images. The researchers contacted them and found that in all cases the way he interacted with the children was the same.

Potential victims accepted the friend request suspecting it was a girl chatting via social network, requesting photographs and videos with highly sexual content. When he used those images to blackmail and threaten the children.

Given the seriousness of the matter under investigation and the large number of underage victims, police acted with urgency to identify the culprit and prevent further casualties. They were finally able to determine the identity of the alleged perpetrator, a 32-year-old, who was a top technician with certification of telecommunications and computer systems and other networks on the Internet. Police also proceeded to perform a search of his home for more than six hours in which agents inspected three computers in which abundant paedophile pornographic material was found, resulting in his immediate arrest.

Hack Wi-Fi networks

The fact that the offender is a person with high computer skills and hacking techniques greatly complicated the investigation. The arrested person tried to protect his identity through the  unlawful use of wireless networks in your neighbourhood.

From a first analysis of the computers, the researchers could see that the detainee was the creator and user adopting three other profiles, two of which according to his own statements, had been used for the same acts. In just one profile the culprit managed to add 383 youths. It has also been found that in another recently created profile of a popular social network, included about 40 children and friends, many of whom had already submitted their images by email.

About 500,000 paedophiles files

In the initial inspection of computers around 500,000 image files and video were located, with the vast majority of paedophilia, which are being reviewed to locate potential victims, since some of them the had obtained a sharing program files. Agents continue scrutinizing the wealth of information seized in the house search, and as yet do not have an exact number of children who have been victims of these events, although based on all the profiles used by the person arrested and the time it took to play this type of criminal activity, the figure could exceed 2,000 children in Spain and 10,000 worldwide.

The research was carried out by agents of technological crime group of the Provincial Brigade of the Judicial Police of Córdoba.