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2013 computer crime blotter

Bob Brown and IDG News Service | Dec. 17, 2013
Anonymous, LulzSec members and plenty of others sent to the slammer for exploiting technology and human flaws

Prisons around the world this year made way for techie criminals alongside the more garden variety murderers, thieves and schemers.

Here's a rundown of those who got sent to the slammer this year for tech-related crimes (based on a compilation of reports from the IDG News Service and Network World's other sister sites):

" Hacker sentenced to 18 months for peddling computer access to US national security lab
A Pennsylvania man who hacked into multiple corporate, university and government computer networks and tried to sell access to them, including supercomputers from a U.S. national security laboratory, was sentenced in December to 18 months in prison.

Andrew Miller, 24, pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy and two counts of computer fraud for actions committed between 2008 and 2011, when he was part of the Underground Intelligence Agency hacking group, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Miller asked an undercover FBI agent in 2011 for $50,000 in exchange for access to two supercomputers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, according to the DOJ.

*Man who hacked celebrity email accounts sentenced to prison
A man who admitted to illegally accessing email accounts belonging to more than four dozen celebrities to steal their private photos and confidential documents was sentenced in December to 10 years in federal prison by a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles.

Christopher Chaney, 36, of Jacksonville, Fla. was also ordered to pay a fine of more than $66,000 as restitution for his crimes. Chaney was arrested in November 2011 and has been in custody since March, when he pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including unauthorized access to computers and wiretapping. He faced a maximum of more than 120 years in prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, Chaney gained access to the email accounts of Mika Kunis, Scarlett Johansson, Renee Olstead and dozens of other celebrities by resetting their passwords using the "forgot your password" feature. Chaney apparently used publicly available information on the celebrities to correctly answer the security questions needed to reset the passwords on the Gmail, Apple and Yahoo email accounts they used.

(via Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld)

*Wisconsin man sentenced for participating in Anonymous DDoS
A man from Wisconsin was sentenced in December for participating in a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack by hacker group Anonymous on a Kansas company.

Eric J. Rosol, 38, is said to have admitted that on Feb. 28, 2011, he took part in a denial-of-service attack for about a minute on a Web page of Koch Industries —, using software called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon Code, which was loaded on his computer. LOIC is a popular DDoS tool used by Anonymous and other online attackers to overload websites with requests and disrupt the target server. 


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