SAN DIEGO (CN) – Two San Diegans stole $20,000 by stealing identities of people who use peer-to-peer file-sharing software, federal prosecutors said. Jeffrey Steven Girandola, 32, and Kajohn Phommavong, 25, are charged with conspiracy, computer fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The men are accused of installing peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software on computers they controlled and searching the P2P networks for log-ins and passwords that users inadvertently exposed.
Most users download P2P software for free, prosecutors said, but some software is corrupted to intentionally or unintentionally allow such access.
Girandola and Phommavong are accused of searching the P2P networks to find bank accounts and suck money from them electronically. Five victims were suckered through the Pentagon’s “SFAS MyPay” payroll system, prosecutors said.
If convicted of all charges, the men could face more than 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.