It took 8 Months of Investigation, But Man Is Arrested for Cyber-bullying
It involved 38 alleged victims across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Investigation took 8 months and involved law enforcement agencies in B.C. Ontario, New Brunswick, Halifax, the State of Michigan and in the U.K., Hertfordshire and London.
Robert Campbell, (42) of Ottawa, Canada, now faces;
- 27 counts of criminal harassment.
- 85 counts of defamation libel.
- 69 counts of identity fraud.
A victim said that Campbell posted fake, defamatory social media profiles for him, his daughter, and his mother. He worried that his children would be hindered in applying for school because of the fake profiles.
The posting of profiles and social media pages impersonating others, is considered identity fraud.
Ottawa police found that Campbell used proxy IP addresses in conducting the crimes. The police used investigative techniques to identify him. A search warrant was executed Thursday at the suspect’s home in Ottawa’s west-end Britannia Park neighborhood and three computers were seized.
Campbell used multiple aliases in the alleged attacks against men, women, and their families.
“This had a very severe personal impact on our victims — not only personally, but also professionally,” said Carl Cartright, Ottawa police Acting Inspector.
As we see by this story, it takes some time for investigators to get all the information and counts together, but they accomplish their mission.
Some members of law enforcement must be educated in the use of proxy IP addresses by those who perpetrate cyber-crimes. Most website hosting companies for proxy IP addresses are helpful.
The website hosting companies for two major proxy IP address websites used by cyber-extortioners to access this blog, Hide My Ass and Anonymouse, were very cooperative and helpful providing information and preserving the evidence. That in fact, when the process began to track the originators of the comments, we knew the names of the hosting companies, but not the names of the websites they used. That’s because the IP addresses always trace to the website hosting companies.
Proxy IP address websites require the input of the URL for the site the user wants to access on the internet. When entering that URL and clicking to continue through a proxy IP address, the user’s IP address assigned to them by their internet service provider is obtained by the website and/or their hosting company.
To say it another way, the proxy IP address might hide the individual’s IP address assigned to them by their internet service provider, but it doesn’t hide the originating IP address from the proxy IP website and/or their hosting company.
While an individual or company might own the proxy IP address website, the files and programs for the sites are on server computers of the hosting company. Some of those websites advertise that they do not record the IP address using their service. However, their website might be hosted by a company that does.
Some committing cyber crimes by using proxy IP addresses might assume that if they use a site located in another country, that it gives them further protection from being identified and prosecuted. However, the location of the website is not indicative for where it is hosted.
The owner of one of the main proxy IP address websites used by cyber-harassers is in the U.K., but it is hosted by a website hosting company located in Chicago, Illinois. A most recent proxy IP address was accessed through a website located in Missouri, hosted by a company in Ohio, where the originating IP address was traced to Troy, Michigan to Comcast. Therefore, investigations can begin with the actual internet service provider, or the hosting company for the proxy IP address website.
Once law enforcement gets involved, it’s only a matter of time before perpetrators are identified. At times, their activity is monitored. The more they do, they generate more counts of charges.
Click here for a video reporting charges against Robert Campbell.