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Ethical hacker catches '56-year-old predator' during disturbing livestream

Ethical hacker catches '56-year-old predator' during disturbing livestream

Professional ethical hacker Ryan Montgomery demonstrated how easily a child can be targeted online

Warning: This article contains discussion of child abuse which some readers may find distressing

A man who works as an 'ethical hacker' carried out a harrowing demonstration of how easy it is for a child to be targeted online.

Ryan Montgomery appeared on a livestream hosted by Adin Ross and shared by best twitch plug on YouTube.

Ryan is an ethical hacker, which is someone whose job it is to find the vulnerabilities in cyber security.

This might be with, say, a company or government department that wants to make sure its IT systems are secure.

The hacker demonstrated how easy it is for someone to be targeted by abusers. (tanawit sabprasan / Getty)
The hacker demonstrated how easy it is for someone to be targeted by abusers. (tanawit sabprasan / Getty)

However, it can also show up how easy it can be for people to be targeted online by someone with bad intentions, such as scams or worse.

In this case, unfortunately, it fell squarely into the latter category as Ryan demonstrated just how vulnerable a child can be online.

So, how did he carry out this harrowing demonstration?

Ryan started by googling 'teen chat', which was aimed at recreating the kind of steps that a young person might take.

He made a fake username, 'Ashley13fTX', on a number of different chat rooms and logged in.

Using the fake account, he posted 'Hi, anyone want to chat?' into the main chat group. His DM inbox was soon inundated with messages from accounts which he said were likely to be held by adults.

The man they spoke to sent incredibly inappropriate messages. (Westend61 / Getty)
The man they spoke to sent incredibly inappropriate messages. (Westend61 / Getty)

He started using slang such as 'asl' - meaning 'age sex location' - to find out more about the people who were messaging, as well as using language to make him appear like a teenage girl.

One person who messaged was a 56-year-old man who said that he was 'not married'.

When they asked the man if he cared about their age, posing as a 13-year-old girl, he replied: "If you don't care about mine, I don't care about yours."

The man then asked questions about the fictional girl's appearance, as well as her weight.

He then asked if she was a virgin, before propositioning someone he believed to be a child.

The site that they were using did not appear to allow someone to send pictures, videos, or participate in video calls.

However, they quickly persuaded the man to move to a different platform where that could happen, showing that such a feature would not necessarily protect someone.

Ryan has built up a reputation for encouraging safety online, particularly for younger audiences.

He explained that he and some associates might sometimes chat with someone in this way for months to build up evidence.

They would then finally arrange to meet with them in a sting operation, before confronting them with everything they know and calling the police.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Featured Image Credit: best twitch plug via YouTube/Getty Stock Image

Topics: News, US News, Crime, Sexual Abuse, Technology