On Monday the former employee pleaded guilty in federal court to abusing his work access to crack user passwords and access internal Yahoo systems, specifically targeting "younger women," including co-workers and friends.
Ruiz is said to have made copies of "images and videos" he obtained from the hacked accounts and stored them in his home network, per a breakdown of the plea from CBS San Francisco. The process, as Ruiz himself described it, involved hacking someone's Yahoo account with the intention of using that entryway to more easily achieve access to the person's iCloud, Gmail, Facebook, or other accounts in search of additional photos and videos of a private nature.
Once caught by Yahoo, Ruiz said he destroyed the personal computer and hard drive he had utilized for storage of the illegally obtained data. Ruiz was ultimately indicted in April of this year on multiple charges including computer intrusion and intercepting a wire communication, with this week’s plea agreement requiring that he confess to the computer intrusion count.
Ruiz is due to appear in court again in February of next year after being released on an unsecured $200,000 bond. As it stands now, he faces a maximum prison sentence of five years, not to mention a possible $250,000 fine and restitution to victims.
According to Ars Technica, Ruiz worked at Yahoo for nearly 11 years. In October 2018, he reportedly became a senior engineer at Okta.