The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced the arrest and indictment of two men on charges of fraud and conspiracy and repeatedly breaching the security of image storage service Photobucket.

The pair, Brandon Bourret of Colorado Springs, and Athanasios Andrianakis of Sunnyvale, California, were arrested by the FBI and accused of perpetrating crimes by building and selling an app that could be used to exploit the personal data of those who downloaded it.

"Unauthorised access into a secure computer system is a serious federal crime," said special agent Thomas Ravenelle who headed up the case.

"The arrest of Brandon Bourret and his co-conspirator reflects the FBI's commitment to investigate those who undertake activities such as this with the intent to harm a company and its customers."

The DoJ indictment and supporting information (PDF) said that the pair spent two years from July 2012 to July 2014 committing acts including computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud, identification document fraud and wire fraud through an app that could be used to siphon passwords and other personal information from Photobucket users.

The purpose, according to the DoJ, was to gather this information and sell it to the criminal community.

The two men now face the heavy weight of US justice and a judicial and law enforcement environment that takes a hard line on cybercrime and its participants.

"It is not safe to hide behind your computer, breach corporate servers and line your own pockets by victimising those who have a right to protected privacy on the internet," said John Walsh, US attorney for the District of Colorado.

"The US Attorney's Office is keenly focused on prosecuting those people for their theft and for the wanton harm they do to innocent internet users."