Incidents

Lee 2004-10-11 00:00:00 UTC

Accused of hacking into 1,152 public and private computer systems since March, 2003.

Neal Cotton2004-09-09 00:00:00 UTC

According to the Criminal complaint filed previously in the case, Cyber City, a local computer network consulting firm, provides a variety of computer network and database services to businesses located in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Atlanta and London. These services include computer network design, purchasing of computer hardware and software, network installation and maintenance, website production, and computer data backup and technical support. COTTON was a Cyber City field technician between 1999 and 2003. In that capacity, COTTON was provided with various passwords and user codes that gave him access to Cyber City’s computer network, both from inside Cyber City’s offices, and via remote connection over the Internet. According to the Complaint, on April 2, 2003, an executive of Cyber City informed COTTON he would be fired from the company. On April 3, 2003, COTTON told a Cyber City coworker that he was displeased because Cyber City had failed to pay him several hundred dollars in exchange for some computer equipment COTTON had returned to Cyber City. According to the Complaint, later that night, Cyber City experienced a computer intrusion attack on its network that wiped out files and data of several of Cyber City’s most important client companies, rendering customers’ computer networks useless, some for days, and caused some customers to lose data permanently. As the complaint states, at around the time the attack on Cyber City was perpetrated, COTTON’s co-worker observed COTTON sitting at a computer a the co-worker’s home, and later COTTON admitted to the co-worker that COTTON had attacked Cyber City’s computers. According to the complaint, although Cyber City was able to restore its system and service to its customers with some effort, including retaining outside data recovery services, some data was permanently lost. At COTTON’s guilty plea today before United States District Judge DENNY CHIN to a one-count felony information, COTTON admitted that he had committed the computer attack with the intent to damage Cyber City’s computer systems. According to the Complaint, Cyber City’s losses resulting from the computer attack, including time, effort and out-of-pocket expenses required to repair the system, restore customer data, and repair customer relations, exceeded $100,000. COTTON faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offenses. COTTON, 28, lives in Astoria, Queens. Mr. KELLEY praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case.

Unknown 2004-09-07 00:00:00 UTC

He claimed that "just for fun" he requested a DNS transfer for several sites including Google.de, Web.de, Amazon.de and eBay.de. Most of these transfers were denied, but the transfer for eBay went ahead. It is unclear how the domain could have been transferred without the consent of the owner. The teenager said he did not want to cause damage. Indeed, according to Federau, he was shocked when he was told that he had become the new owner of the eBay.de Web address. The domain has now been returned to its rightful owner. eBay said that user data was not endangered by the domain hijacking.

Jeremy Young2004-09-01 00:00:00 UTC

A search of his address evidence was discovered which suggested that AIS were illegally obtaining information from the Police National Computer.

Mark Erfurt2004-08-31 00:00:00 UTC

Mr. Erfurt pled guilty to each count of an Superseding Information charging him with Unauthorized Access into a Computer Recklessly Causing Damage, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030a5Aii, 1030a5Bi, and Destruction, Alteration and Falsification of Records in Federal Investigation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Section 1519 was enacted as part of the reforms included in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and prohibits the destruction of or tampering with any document with the intent to impede any U.S. Government investigation. The maximum statutory penalty is five years imprisonment for the computer hacking count, and twenty years imprisonment for the obstruction of justice count. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross loss, a three year term of supervised release, a mandatory special assessment of $100, and restitution. However, the actual sentence will be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed in the discretion of the Court. Mr. Erfurt is scheduled to be sentenced on January 24, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. before United States District Judge James Ware in San Jose. According to the Plea Agreement, Mr. Erfurt admitted that, on January 23 and 24, 2003, he hacked into the computer system of MESC by using a computer from his workplace at a separate company in Irvine, California. Mr. Erfurt had previously served as the Information Technology Manager and then as Network Manager for MESC. After gaining unauthorized access to MESCs computer system, Mr. Erfurt admitted that he downloaded a proprietary database, read the e-mail account of the company president, and deleted data from the servers. Mr. Erfurt also admitted to obstructing justice in the FBIs ensuing investigation of these events by deleting data from his new employers computers in an effort to destroy the evidence of his illegal computer intrusions. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations Cyber Crime Squad in Oakland. The investigation was overseen by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property CHIP Unit of the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of California. Mark L. Krotoski is the Assistant U.S. Attorney from the CHIP Unit who is prosecuting the case.

Alexander Tobolsky2004-08-25 00:00:00 UTC

Tobolsky had originally been indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia for selling pirated copies of Intuit accounting and finance software through his website and Internet auctions. He sold 2,283 copies that would have had a value of $783,000 if they had been legitimate.

Scott Catalano2004-08-25 00:00:00 UTC

Catalano accessed without authorization the server of Allegheny Computer Service from October 14, 2003 through October 17, 2003 to view files and other account information in the course of uploading programs and files used to secure covert access to the server.

Sonya Rosenberger2004-08-24 00:00:00 UTC

According to the indictment, between April 2002 and May 2004, Rosenberger repeatedly defrauded a WTAE-TV contest known as the "Watch 4 Win More" sweepstakes by creating on her computer false contest claim forms with the winning contest number after the station had televised that number. Rosenberger created winning forms for herself and her friends and relatives for which WTAE paid out approximately $95,500, and Rosenberger attempted to collect an additional $20,000 but was unsuccessful because the station discovered the fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

Alanna Ridenour2004-08-24 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On August 24, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania indicted Alanna Ridenour on a charge of mail fraud. The one-count indictment named Ridenour, age 45, of Morgantown, West Virginia, as the sole defendant. According to the indictment, between May 2003 and May 2004, Ridenour defrauded a WTAE-TV contest known as the "Watch 4 Win More" sweepstakes by submitting false contest claim forms with the winning contest number after the station had televised that number. Ridenour obtained or manufactured winning forms for herself and her friends and relatives, for which WTAE paid Ridenour approximately $12,000, and Ridenour attempted to collect an additional $19,000 before the station discovered the fraud. In a separate indictment returned the same day, Ridenours daughter, Sonya Rosenberger, of Farmington, Pennsylvania, was charged with five counts of mail fraud for carrying out the same scheme for a longer period, from April 2002 to May 2004, in which WTAE paid out a total of approximately $95,500, including the $12,000 received by Ridenour, who was supplied false claim forms in her own name by her daughter. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

Patrick Angle2004-08-23 00:00:00 UTC

On August 23, 2004, the United States Attorneys Office in the District of Massachusetts charged a former employee of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc., a large high-technology company headquartered in Gloucester, with computer hacking that caused significant damage to Varian’s computer systems. Patrick Angle, of Columbus, Indiana, was charged in a one-count Information with intentionally damaging a protected computer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030a5Ai, an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years. The Information charges that Angle, who had worked for Varian, first in Gloucester and then from his home in Indiana, had become disgruntled with his employment and pending termination. To vent his frustration with Varian, on September 17, 2003, Angle allegedly logged into Varian’s computer server in Massachusetts from his Indiana home and deleted the source code for the e-commerce software that he and others had been developing, then covered his tracks by deleting activity logs. Although Varian was ultimately able to recover the deleted material from backups, the company has estimated the cost of the recovery effort to be approximately $26,455. Varian reported the crime to the FBI, which investigated the case, and provided valuable assistance throughout the investigation.

Jie Dong2004-08-20 00:00:00 UTC

A federal criminal complaint alleging that Dong engaged in a sophisticated mail and wire fraud scheme was filed last week that describes the methodical scheme by a skilled Internet fraudster who stole nearly $800,000 from unwitting victims. Dong conducted over 5,000 fraudulent sales to eBay customers from September to December 2003 after establishing accounts with eBay and PayPal under the username "quainfangcompany." As part of his scheme, Dong established a positive feedback rating to lure auction fraud victims by selling over $150,000 in low-cost merchandise. In November 2003, however, Dong began selling more expensive items, such as computer hard drives, digital cameras, and DVD players, during the height of the holiday shopping season. In fact, Dong sold an astounding $380,000 in merchandise per week and collected the money through his online PayPal account or by cashing money orders sent directly by the customers. Dong then withdrew the money, sometimes in increments as high as $60,000 at a time, or transferred the money to bank accounts in China and Hong Kong. Dongs eBay and PayPal accounts were terminated after eBay received a flood of complaints. Dong never sent any of the merchandise purchased by over 5,000 victims. Dong subsequently fled the country and is currently at large. Through the assistance of authorities in China and Hong Kong, and eBay investigators in the United States, more than $280,000 in stolen funds have been frozen and criminal forfeiture proceedings have been filed.

Usman Hayat2004-08-20 00:00:00 UTC

According to the plea agreement, Hayat contacted Eddie Bauer, Inc. in February 2004, via email, threatening to release photos that Hayat alleged showed child labor being used in the production of Eddie Bauer apparel. Hayat claimed he would post the photos on the Web, or send them to the media or Eddie Bauer’s creditors if he was not paid $685,000. At the direction of law enforcement, Eddie Bauer communicated with Hayat via email and ultimately provided Hayat with a plane ticket to Seattle. In the plea agreement, Hayat admits he traveled to Eddie Bauer headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and met with undercover agents in order to collect the $685,000 he had demanded. At the meeting, Hayat showed the agents photographic negatives that he claimed showed child labor. Federal agents provided him with $500,000 cash. Hayat reviewed the money and agreed to meet the agents the next day to open bank accounts and deposit the money. Hayat was arrested before leaving the Eddie Bauer offices. According to Eddie Bauer officials, the company regularly audits the Pakistani factories where its apparel is produced and those audits have found no evidence of the use of child labor in the manufacture of Eddie Bauer products. In response to the allegations made by Hayat, Eddie Bauer recently ordered a round of unannounced inspections. According to Eddie Bauer officials, again no evidence of the use of child labor in the manufacture of Eddie Bauer products was found.

Paul Ashley2004-08-06 00:00:00 UTC

Ashley was the network administrator of the Web and IRC hosting company CIT/FooNet, run from his home, which was shuttered sometime after being raided by the FBI last February. Three other Americans and one U.K. citizen are charged with actually carrying out the attacks.

Yu Wang2004-08-05 00:00:00 UTC

On August 5, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted Yu Chun Wang and three other defendants on charges of conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods, attempted bribery, and money laundering relating to importing of counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags and luggage from China. The aggregate retail value for the actual goods exceeds tens of millions of dollars, and the street value of the knockoffs is approximately $5.5 million. The bribery charge stems from the defendants allegedly attempting to pay off an undercover Bureau of Immigration and Customs agent who, in a sting, pretended to have an inside Customs contact who could help smuggle contraband

Ali Aoun2004-08-05 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On August 5, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted two defendants on charges of conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and money laundering, for their alleged sale of counterfeit designer handbags, luggage, wallets, makeup cases, shoes, and other items, out of a storefront in Manhattan. The counterfeited brands include Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Christian Dior. The aggregate retail price for the actual goods is in the millions of dollars, and the street value for the knock-offs is just under a million dollars.

Calin Mateias2004-08-04 00:00:00 UTC

The indictment alleges that Calin Mateias, a resident of Bucharest, Romania, hacked into Ingram Micro’s online ordering system and placed fraudulent orders for computers and computer equipment. Mateias allegedly directed that the equipment be sent to dozens of addresses scattered throughout the United States as part of an Internet fraud ring. The Justice Department is working closely with Romanian authorities to ensure that Mateias is brought to justice, whether in Romania or the United States. According to the indictment, Mateias began hacking into Ingram Micro’s online ordering system in 1999. Using information obtained from his illegal hacking activity, Mateias allegedly bypassed Ingram’s online security safeguards, posed as legitimate customers, and ordered computer equipment to be sent to Romania. When Ingram Micro blocked all shipments to Romania in early 1999, Mateias allegedly recruited four of his codefendants from Internet chat rooms to provide him with U.S. addresses to use as “mail drops” for the fraudulently ordered equipment. Four of the codefendants, in turn, allegedly recruited others, including high school students, to provide additional addresses and to accept the stolen merchandise. The defendants in the United States would allegedly either sell the equipment and send the proceeds to Mateias, or repackage the equipment and send it to Romania. Mateias and his co-conspirators allegedly fraudulently ordered more than $10 million in computer equipment from Ingram Micro. However, Ingram Micro was successful in intercepting nearly half the orders before the items were shipped. All six defendants are charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud by causing Ingram Micro to ship computer equipment based on the false pretenses that the equipment was ordered by legitimate customers. In addition to the conspiracy count, Mateias is charged with 13 mail fraud counts; two of the defendants with three mail fraud counts; a third defendant with six mail fraud counts; and a fourth defendant with four mail fraud counts for shipments. This international investigation was handled by the Cyber Crimes Squad in the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received substantial assistance from the Romanian National Police and the FBI Legal Attache Office in Bucharest. Additionally, the FBI Field Offices in Atlanta; Richmond, Virginia; Miami; Chicago; Albuquerque, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Newark, New Jersey; Norfolk, Virginia; Omaha, Nebraska; San Francisco; Seattle; Tampa, Florida; Albany, New York; and San Diego assisted in the investigation. In a separate case, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania announced the unsealing of an 11-count indictment charging Mateias in another scheme involving shipments of fraudulently ordered merchandise that was sent to co-conspirators in Pennsy

Nicolas Jacobsen2004-08-01 00:00:00 UTC

Accused of hacking t-mobile systems and having access for almost 1 year while stealing credentials and social security details of customers. Albert gonzals purchused the t-mobile data via shadowcrew forums and this brought down Nicolas year long run of having control of t-mobile

Robert McKimmey2004-07-29 00:00:00 UTC

On July 29, 2004, Robert McKimmey pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to conspiracy to commit theft and downloading of trade secrets, fraud in connection with computers, and interstate transportation of stolen property. McKimmey was employed as Chief Technology Officer of Business Engine Software Corporation “BES”, a company that creates business enterprise software along with Niku Corporation, one of its competitors. As part of the conspiracy, defendant illegally accessed victim Niku’s computer network and applications repeatedly over a 10-month period without authorization; stole, downloaded, and copied things of value including Niku trade secrets; and transmitted some of those things of value including Niku trade secrets to other BES officers and employees - all so that BES could maintain a competitive advantage over Niku. McKinney is awaiting sentencing

Melissa Davidson2004-07-29 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On June 29, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Missouri indicted Melissa Davidson on two counts of computer fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1030a4 and two counts of access device fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1029a5. The government alleged that Davidson, who was employed by Citibank in Kansas City at the time the offenses were committed, accessed without authority confidential customer account information held in a database at Citibank, and was able to find such information belonging to two Citibank customers whose names were also “Melissa Davidson.” After going on maternity leave, defendant Davidson allegedly used the purloined account information to gain access to the victims’ Citibank accounts via the Internet from a computer in her home, and obtained new Citibank credit cards using the creditworthiness of the victims. The fraudulently obtained credit cards were then used to purchase merchandise. The loss to Citibank is $34,000. The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Michael Bradley2004-07-24 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On June 24, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California returned an indictment charging Michael A. Bradley with devising a scheme to defraud and extort money from Google. The scheme allegedly involved claims by Bradley that he had developed a software program called “Google Clique” that automated fraudulent "clicks" on "cost-per-click" advertisements utilized by Google. These fraudulent clicks were designed to cause Google to make payments that were supposed to be made only for "clicks" made by legitimate Web surfers. Bradley allegedly claimed that he would sell the software to top spammers if Google did not pay him approximately $150,000, and that Google could lose millions.

Frederick Banks2004-07-20 00:00:00 UTC

On July 20, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania indicted Frederick H. Banks was indicted by on a charge of mail fraud. The one-count indictment named Banks, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.According to the indictment presented to the court, between April 29, 2004 and June 23, 2004, Banks attempted to purchase coins and software through the Internet using counterfeit checks. Banks was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint on June 24, 2004. Banks was previously indicted for similar conduct on October 7, 2003. In addition, the grand jury in that case returned a superseding indictment on May 4, 2004 charging Banks with mail fraud, money laundering, uttering counterfeited and forged securities, and witness tampering. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force comprises United States Postal Inspectors, Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Investigators from the Allegheny County District Attorneys Office, and Detectives from Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh.

Laurent Chavet2004-07-02 00:00:00 UTC

On July 2, 2004, FBI agents arrested Laurent Chavet on an indictment, filed June 29, 2004, that charged Chavet with allegedly hacking into the computer system of the Internet search engine Alta Vista to obtain source code, and for recklessly causing damage to Alta Vistas computers. At the time of arrest Chavet was working for microsoft.

Roman Vega2004-07-01 00:00:00 UTC

Vega was also allegedly an operator of a Web site at www.boafactory.com , where stolen and counterfeit credit card account information was allegedly bought and sold.

Jason Smathers2004-06-23 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On June 23, 2004, Jason Smathers, 24, a software engineer employed at America On Line “AOL”, and Sean Dunaway, 21, were arrested at their residences in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively, on conspiracy charges filed in Manhattan federal court, arising from their scheme to steal AOL’s entire subscriber list, and to use the list to send massive amounts of unsolicited commercial emails -- also known as “spam” -- to millions of AOL’s customers. This case is reportedly one of the first in the nation prosecuted under the recently-enacted CAN-SPAM law. As charged in the criminal complaint, in May 2003, Smathers, using his skills as a computer engineer and his inside knowledge of AOL’s computer system, misappropriated a list of 92 million AOL customer account “screen names.” The Complaint further alleges that in May 2003, Dunaway purchased the list from Smathers, and then sold the list to other spammers for $52,000, and also used the list to promote his own Internet gambling operation. The Complaint further charges that Dunaway claimed to have purchased an updated version of AOL’s customer list, which Dunaway also sold. According to the Complaint, AOL, one of the world’s leading Internet service providers, with a customer base of approximately 30 million subscribers, maintained its customer list in a database referred to as the “Data Warehouse,” in a secure computerized location in Dulles, Virginia. As described in the Complaint, access to that database was limited by AOL to a small number of AOL employees. According to the Complaint, Smathers worked in AOL’s Dulles offices, but was not authorized to access or copy the customer information in the Data Warehouse in April and May 2003, when he stole the list. However, as alleged, in April and May 2003, Smathers, using the computerized employee identification code of another AOL employee, improperly gained access to the Data Warehouse database, and began assembling a complete list of AOL’s customer account screen names and related zip codes, credit card types but no credit card numbers, and telephone numbers of AOL customers. The Complaint notes that there is no evidence that anyone gained access to or stole customers’ credit card account numbers -- which AOL stores in a separate, highly secured data location apart from the Data Warehouse. A search of Smathers’s work computer conducted in May 2004, as alleged in the Complaint, revealed that in approximately April 2003, Smathers and another individual discussed various techniques by which to spam AOL customers, as well as the large profits that could be made from spamming. The Complaint charges that, in or about May or June 2003, Sean Dunaway who is not an employee of AOL told a confidential source the “Source” that he Dunaway had obtained from an AOL insider a computerized list of 92 million AOL screen names for millions of AOL customers. The Source purchased the list together with another individual, and paid Dunaway $2,000 per letter of the alphabet i.e., all the AOL screen names beginning with that letter, or $52,000 total, for the entire customer list. In or around March 2004, the Source obtained a second list, from Dunaway which Dunaway described as an updated version of the original list, for $32,000, which contains fewer screen names than the earlier list approximately 18 million. According to the Complaint, the Source used both lists to send spam to AOL’s customers in 2004 i.e., after January 1, 2004, when the CAN-SPAM law went into effect, for purposes of marketing herbal penile enlargement pills. The United States Secret Service, New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, Washington, D.C., Electronic Crimes Task Force, and Las Vegas Electronic Crimes Task Force participated in this investigation

Sean Dunaway2004-06-23 00:00:00 UTC

Summary: On June 23, 2004, Jason Smathers, 24, a software engineer employed at America On Line “AOL”, and Sean Dunaway, 21, were arrested at their residences in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively, on conspiracy charges filed in Manhattan federal court, arising from their scheme to steal AOL’s entire subscriber list, and to use the list to send massive amounts of unsolicited commercial emails -- also known as “spam” -- to millions of AOL’s customers. This case is reportedly one of the first in the nation prosecuted under the recently-enacted CAN-SPAM law. As charged in the criminal complaint, in May 2003, Smathers, using his skills as a computer engineer and his inside knowledge of AOL’s computer system, misappropriated a list of 92 million AOL customer account “screen names.” The Complaint further alleges that in May 2003, Dunaway purchased the list from Smathers, and then sold the list to other spammers for $52,000, and also used the list to promote his own Internet gambling operation. The Complaint further charges that Dunaway claimed to have purchased an updated version of AOL’s customer list, which Dunaway also sold. According to the Complaint, AOL, one of the world’s leading Internet service providers, with a customer base of approximately 30 million subscribers, maintained its customer list in a database referred to as the “Data Warehouse,” in a secure computerized location in Dulles, Virginia. As described in the Complaint, access to that database was limited by AOL to a small number of AOL employees. According to the Complaint, Smathers worked in AOL’s Dulles offices, but was not authorized to access or copy the customer information in the Data Warehouse in April and May 2003, when he stole the list. However, as alleged, in April and May 2003, Smathers, using the computerized employee identification code of another AOL employee, improperly gained access to the Data Warehouse database, and began assembling a complete list of AOL’s customer account screen names and related zip codes, credit card types but no credit card numbers, and telephone numbers of AOL customers. The Complaint notes that there is no evidence that anyone gained access to or stole customers’ credit card account numbers -- which AOL stores in a separate, highly secured data location apart from the Data Warehouse. A search of Smathers’s work computer conducted in May 2004, as alleged in the Complaint, revealed that in approximately April 2003, Smathers and another individual discussed various techniques by which to spam AOL customers, as well as the large profits that could be made from spamming. The Complaint charges that, in or about May or June 2003, Sean Dunaway who is not an employee of AOL told a confidential source the “Source” that he Dunaway had obtained from an AOL insider a computerized list of 92 million AOL screen names for millions of AOL customers. The Source purchased the list together with another individual, and paid Dunaway $2,000 per letter of the alphabet i.e., all the AOL screen names beginning with that letter, or $52,000 total, for the entire customer list. In or around March 2004, the Source obtained a second list, from Dunaway which Dunaway described as an updated version of the original list, for $32,000, which contains fewer screen names than the earlier list approximately 18 million. According to the Complaint, the Source used both lists to send spam to AOL’s customers in 2004 i.e., after January 1, 2004, when the CAN-SPAM law went into effect, for purposes of marketing herbal penile enlargement pills. The United States Secret Service, New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, Washington, D.C., Electronic Crimes Task Force, and Las Vegas Electronic Crimes Task Force participated in this investigation.

Scott Levine2004-06-21 00:00:00 UTC

Snipermail, a Florida corporation located in the Boca Raton area, was engaged in the business of distributing advertisements via the Internet to e-mail addresses on behalf of advertisers or their brokers. The charges stem from alleged illegal intrusions by Levine and other Snipermail employees into a computer database owned and operated by Acxiom Corporation, one of the worlds largest companies that manages personal, financial, and corporate data. Acxiom, which is headquartered in Little Rock and Conway, Arkansas, stores and processes large amounts of customer-provided data on behalf of its clients. The indictment charges 139 counts of illegal access, representing approximately 8.2 gigabytes of data which were downloaded from the Acxiom server from approximately April 2002 to August 2003. "The protection of personal information stored on our nations computer systems is critical to public trust in those networks and to the health of our economy," said Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray. "We will aggressively pursue those who steal private information from computer networks and make it clear that there are serious consequences for such behavior." In July 2003, investigators with the Sheriffs Office in Hamilton County, Ohio, discovered during the course of an unrelated investigation that an Ohio resident named Daniel Baas had illegally entered into an Acxiom file transfer protocol ftp server and had downloaded significant amounts of data. Baas subsequently pleaded guilty to federal charges in Ohio on December 2, 2003. During the course of that investigation, and in follow up internal investigations conducted by Acxiom, investigators discovered a second set of intrusions into Acxiom. Those intrusions came from a different internet protocol address and form the basis of the indictment of Scott Levine. Upon discovery of the second set of intrusions, Acxiom immediately sought assistance from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI and the United States Secret Service USSS. Those agencies formed a task force which utilized the efforts of personnel at the FBIs Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Dallas, Texas, along with teams of computer forensic experts from the FBI and USSS. The indictment alleges that these investigators traced the apparent source of the downloads to Snipermails computer systems. Further investigation revealed that beginning in April 2002, individuals employed at Snipermail allegedly obtained access to databases on the ftp.acxiom.com server in Conway, Arkansas, and by the spring of 2003, started regularly accessing large data files from that server and downloading them. This activity continued through July 2003, the indictment alleges. In addition, the indictment alleges that Levine and others actively concealed computers from investigators during the course of the investigation in order to hide their illicit activity and avoid prosecution. The victim corporation in this case, Acxiom, immediately notified law enforcement upon discovery of intrusions into its system and has provided exemplary cooperation throughout this investigation. Its quick response and sustained efforts to facilitate this investigation minimized the possible damage and maximized the ability of law enforcement to insure that justice be done. While the stolen data contained personal information about a great number of individuals and could have resulted in tremendous loss if the information were used in a fraudulent scheme, there is no evidence to date that any of the data was misused in this way. Six other individuals associated with Sniper mail have agreed to cooperate in this investigation.

Jacob Jah2004-06-16 00:00:00 UTC

On June 16, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted three defendants on charges related to allegedly trafficking in counterfeit goods handbags and other accessories and then wiring those and other proceeds in excess of $1 million per month to China and India as part of a money-laundering/hawala takedown covering New York City; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; and Memphis, Tennessee. The United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case

Jeffrey Smittle2004-06-15 00:00:00 UTC

Information presented to the court indicated that between January 15, 2002 and November 5, 2002 Smittle was engaged in the business of selling unauthorized recordings of live music concerts.

Mark Pentrack2004-06-14 00:00:00 UTC

Pentrack offered car parts, aircraft parts, and other items for sale over the Internet, but did not possess those items and did not deliver those items to buyers. To conceal his activities, he hired secretaries in five states outside Utah to receive payments from would-be buyers, used an e-mail service based in Australia and used an anonymizing program when conducting online activities. More than 10 individuals sent Pentrack more than $200,000 in connection with the scheme. After being arrested, Pentrack tried to enlist two people to enter his apartment and remove two computers and other materials relating to his scheme, before federal authorities could find and seize them. He also made false statements concerning his scheme to federal authorities.

William Quinn2004-06-12 00:00:00 UTC

On July 12, 2004, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted William Quinn for allegedly obtaining unauthorized access to Verizon computers and posting the access codes for those computers on the Internet. Accessing Verizons computers in this way would allow hackers to disable phone numbers including 911, hospitals, etc. from making or receiving calls. The New York Economic Crimes Task Force conducted the investigation.