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'Iceman' Gets 13 Years For 2nd Hacking Offense

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the too-ambitious dept.

Security 289

Hugh Pickens writes "Computerworld reports that Max Ray Butler, who used the hacker pseudonym Iceman, has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for hacking into financial institutions and stealing credit card account numbers, the longest known sentence ever handed down for hacking charges. This isn't Butler's first time facing a federal hacking sentence. After a promising start as a security consultant who did volunteer work for the FBI, Butler was arrested for writing malicious software that installed a back-door program on computers — including some on federal government networks — that were susceptible to a security hole. Butler served an 18-month prison term for the crime and fell on hard times after his 2002 release. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime and by the time of his arrest in September 2007, he had built the largest marketplace for stolen credit and debit card information in the world."

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long term sentence (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147908)

And lesson we've all learned today, class? Don't crap in your own backyard.

Re:long term sentence (3, Funny)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148166)

But my outhouse is in my backyard!

Re:long term sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148408)

Bummer

--signed Crash Override

Re:long term sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148478)

He was sloppy and got greedy. THAT is how these guys get caught.

And honestly that is a n00b hacker mistake.

Being taken down by a newbie mistake, that's harder on him than the 13 years in "you're my little bitch" prison.

Eye for an eye (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148520)

If your penetrating backdoors then dont be surprised when your are sent to pound me in the ass prison to have the same done to you.

Re:long term sentence (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148758)

Sucks that he couldn't put his abilities to better use.. Too bad for him

Looks like Iceman is being put on ice... (4, Funny)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147918)

Looks like Iceman is being put on ice for 13 years. It's well-deserved, IMO.

Re:Looks like Iceman is being put on ice... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148304)

Good thing he didn't choose Assman for his hacker pseudonym.

Read the Fine Print (5, Funny)

otherniceman (180671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147942)

12 Years, 11 months of the sentence for using the pseudonym Iceman.

Re:Read the Fine Print (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147976)

His ego was writing checks that his body couldn't cash.

Re:Read the Fine Print (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148178)

Was his Goose cooked? And tenderized?

Lol too soon.

Good. (4, Insightful)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147962)

I hope that he has to serve the full sentence, and doesn't get out on parole. Credit card fraud is not fun. I can only hope that more people convicted of credit card fraud receive sentences like this.

Re:Good. (0, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148000)

I hope that he has to serve the full sentence, and doesn't get out on parole. Credit card fraud is not fun. I can only hope that more people convicted of credit card fraud receive sentences like this.

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system designed to dispense cash based solely on a 4 digit number; That makes sense. Credit card fraud wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if financial institutions had designed the system to be more resiliant to attack. And by more resiliant, I mean doing something other than coating the cash in BBQ sauce and waving it in front of the hungry and unemployed masses while chanting "Hell no, we won't upgrade!"

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148060)

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system...

Um, yes. That does make sense.

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148064)

It is the criminals' fault for exploiting it, moron. It's the financial institutions fault for not securing it.

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148392)

Which is rather like saying "It wasn't the murderer's fault Bob got killed, it was Bob's own fault for not walking around in a kevlar vest!"

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148102)

Not all banks limit to 4 digit numbers, my bank required a minimum of 6, suggest 8 and supported upto 10 digits for your pin.

The downside to this was that banks that only used the 4 digit system wouldn't allow you to use your ATM card to withdraw cash.

It was almost impossible to find a place in North Carolina that would accept over 4 digit pins back when I was there...

Re:Good. (0, Redundant)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148114)

Credit card fraud wouldn't happen if criminals weren't breaking the law.

Re:Good. (1)

taoye (1456551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148396)

But no matter how much education or whatever you give them, some people will try, indefinitely, no matter what you do or say. So it'd be a good idea if the system were set up to make it as hard as possible for them to defraud credit card holders in the first place.

Basically from a security perspective, you've got to layer on as many different kinds of protection as possible. Criminals should be prevented from becoming criminals, the system itself should be more secure, consumers should be more educated and aware... etc.

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148138)

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system designed to dispense cash based solely on a 4 digit number; That makes sense. Credit card fraud wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if financial institutions had designed the system to be more resiliant to attack.

Each person must be responsible for his or her own actions. Blaming the victim only reinforces the Just World Phenomenon [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148388)

Or rather, we should nix the fallacy that ONE bad act can earn blame on just ONE person.

Think about this. If a criminal broke into a storage unit because the guard was asleep, the guard doesn't get off scot-free, right? Even though the criminal gets the blame?

They both contributed to the theft. The thief by actually doing it, and the guard for letting it happen.

The crooks actually doing the fraud should get nailed. But I think the banks have plenty of blame themselves for trying to weasel out of security.

Re:Good. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148596)

Security is a parameter. It must be chosen in order to optimize certain characteristics.

For example, I have the most secure server in world. It's on the floor in my closet, disconnected from both power and network. No hacker has broken into it yet. It also has the characteristic of being completely useless to everyone (including me).

Realize that the banks do not pay the costs for security and security breaches. They pass that cost onto their consumers. They carefully weigh the costs of prevention, detection, and impact of security defects against other factors like ease-of-use of their products, and then they make an offering. You are free to have faith in the business analysts at the bank, and open an account there. You are also free to start your own credit union, where security is the highest priority.

Everybody responsible for their own actions. It works.

Re:Good. (1)

gravesb (967413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148732)

Which is why banks have to cover losses in some instances.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

elgaard (81259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148146)

Yes, that would like blaming burglers for breaking into houses protected by only wooden doors and glass windows. Burglary wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if house-owners designed their houses with steel doors and bullet-proof glass windows.

Re:Good. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148186)

Ah, that's a much nicer analogy than the one I was thinking off.

Human beings are so fragile. Yeah, blame the murderer for killing someone... /eyeroll

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148152)

Are you sure you're not a retard in training?

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148168)

Yes, I absolutely blame the criminal. After all, many of us here on slashdot have the technical ability (or could get it easily: some of these folks are really smart) to do this same type of criminal activity. They don't do it because they aren't criminals. Who the heck else would we blame but the person responsible for committing the crime? Now, if you want to talk about "the system" (justice system, not the banking system) and how unfortunate it is that it is nearly impossible to get a job after being in prison once - yes, that is tough and the summary alludes to the "hard times" iceman fell on probably due to the stigma of his earlier crime and resulting prison sentence. This can, and often is, extremely difficult to overcome and can mean years of living on handouts from relatives, living in campgrounds, etc. (can you tell I have a brother in law who has been through this?). However, the fact remains that the crime is the responsibility of the criminal and not the banking system. If the credit card system was more secure, this criminal would have went after the next most lucrative thing.

Re:Good. (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148374)

Similarly, we blame the murderer for exploiting a system that relies on numerous single points of failure to keep a person alive. This comment deserves every -1 Troll mod it gets.

Re:Good. (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148384)

So to boil it down to a quick soundbyte... (and to brazenly steal from our arm's bearing soundbyte-makers)

Computers don't hack people, People do.

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148410)

Saying the banking system is innocent of neglecting security is like saying a security guard who happens to fall asleep on duty isn't responsible if there's a break in.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148594)

Saying the banking system is innocent of neglecting security is like saying a security guard who happens to fall asleep on duty isn't responsible if there's a break in.

True, but this does not absolve the criminal from doing the time. No different than saying that rape is okay because the victim was "asking for it, all dressed up like that".

In an ideal system, the CC companies would have to eat the responsibili- oh, wait... they already do; CC fraud is usually something the CC company has to eat the costs of (after a certain liability point, anyway).

Re:Good. (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148680)

yep and now wake me when my shift is over.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148564)

The criminal is to blame, but that doesn't mean an unfair justice system that perpetuates crime is free from guilt either.

The fact is if you are sentence to 18-months, you should have served your debt after 18 months. But no - the punishment continues far after that in the inability to feed yourself, and it does nothing but create far more crime.

Businesses should be required special liscences - and good reasons - to perform background checks. No criminal is free from guilt - but that in no way absolves an injust system.

In THIS case I blame the criminal (1)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148592)

Lots of IT people have fallen on hard times since the dotcom bust, but we didn't turn to crime.

However, I wouldn't make any blanket statements about always blaming the criminal. What about people who live in countries with inadequate social services who steal bread to feed their kids? There are always circumstances in which it makes sense to blame the system rather than the criminal, but this is not one of them.

Re:Good. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148640)

After all, many of us here on slashdot have the technical ability (or could get it easily: some of these folks are really smart) to do this same type of criminal activity. They don't do it because they aren't criminals.

I expect most all of us would break almost any law if the life of someone we cared about was on the line. So, now that we've established that we're all criminals, the only question is one of how much motivation one person needs, versus another...

Crimes always increase when the economy gets worse, and fall when the economy improves. Though I don't claim to know the percentage, there's clearly a large chunk of the population that are upstanding citizens when times are good, and criminals if given just a bit of proper motivation...

Re:Good. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148760)

Short version:
People respond to incentives.

Re:Good. (1)

digit1001 (1009191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148696)

...They don't do it because they aren't criminals...

I wouldn't be too confident in that statement. I'm pretty sure I'm stealing from my employer right now reading /. instead of working...

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148190)

I often find myself agreeing with your posts but not this one. While I do agree that the PCI (Payment Card Industry) needs some major overhaul, people are still responsible for their crimes. Yes, I do blame criminals for being criminals.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148196)

I hope that he has to serve the full sentence, and doesn't get out on parole. Credit card fraud is not fun. I can only hope that more people convicted of credit card fraud receive sentences like this.

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system designed to dispense cash based solely on a 4 digit number; That makes sense. Credit card fraud wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if financial institutions had designed the system to be more resiliant to attack. And by more resiliant, I mean doing something other than coating the cash in BBQ sauce and waving it in front of the hungry and unemployed masses while chanting "Hell no, we won't upgrade!"

Oh wow, so I guess by your logic, I should not blame the person who broke into my car and stole just because the lock wasn't designed against simple lock-picking (it isn't hard to pick a lock.)

Blame the faults of the implementation of a technology, and absolve the criminal of his own personal and moral responsibility. Awesome display of stupidity.

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148544)

Perhaps we should blame both the person who broke into your car as well as the user of the lock for the break-in. You incorrectly assume that blaming the perpetrator and blaming the victim are mutually exclusive.

Re:Good. (4, Informative)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148548)

I hope that he has to serve the full sentence, and doesn't get out on parole. Credit card fraud is not fun. I can only hope that more people convicted of credit card fraud receive sentences like this.

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system designed to dispense cash based solely on a 4 digit number; That makes sense. Credit card fraud wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if financial institutions had designed the system to be more resiliant to attack. And by more resiliant, I mean doing something other than coating the cash in BBQ sauce and waving it in front of the hungry and unemployed masses while chanting "Hell no, we won't upgrade!"

Oh wow, so I guess by your logic, I should not blame the person who broke into my car and stole just because the lock wasn't designed against simple lock-picking (it isn't hard to pick a lock.)

Blame the faults of the implementation of a technology, and absolve the criminal of his own personal and moral responsibility. Awesome display of stupidity.

This is often refered to as 'the poor victim mentality' over here, and seems to work from the basic premise that the criminal has become a criminal because society at large has failed him/her somehow... it's a lot of vawing hands and requests to ignore the man behind the curtain, but somehow the criminal commits crime as a plea for help. This is the same logic that lays behind blaming the rape victim for the fact that the rapist raped them - if they hadn't shown so much naked skin, the poor, misunderstood rapist would have been able to control himself...

I guess stealing at least 27.5 million US dollars (the amounth he has to reimburse the victims with) and setting up a online shop for selling credit card information is a very, very loud plea for help. Or possible a sign of a well developed sence of greed and a belief in that you couldn't be caught - if we were to blame the criminal, that is.

And off course the criminal is to blame. After all, most of us don't break the laws - even if we have the knowledge to do so. The ones who do break them break them willingly and with intent; most of them with a reasonable knowledge that what they are doing is wrong and will be punished.

Which is not to say that the credit card companies shouldn't try to improve the security of their cards. Over here most - if not all - banks and credit card companies will send you a code-dongle (BankID [wikipedia.org] - use an online translater to read it if you don't speak Norwegian) that is considered safe - so safe in fact that the banks say they wont hold you responsible if your card is abused online. Downside is off course that it's only supported within Norway, so if I buy something from a non-norwegian online shop I still have to rely on the older, less secure solutions.

Re:Good. (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148352)

You make a good point that the credit card system is retarded but the poeple who steal CC numbers are still filth.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148404)

Yeah, blame the murders for shooting people with skulls not designed to withstand thousands of foot-pounds of direct force, That makes sense. Murder wouldn't happen nearly to the degree it does if evolution had designed the human body to be more resiliant to attack. And by more resiliant, I mean doing something other than growing skin over the skull and pretending bullets won't penetrate both.\

Shall I do one for rape as well?

Re:Good. (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148526)

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system

Yeah, that's like blaming the murderer for shooting people. The real culprit is clearly the gun. Or maybe the victims' lack of body armor.

Re:Good. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148576)

If you leave your car unlocked while you go back into the house to grab something is then your fault if I walk up and grab things out of it?

Someone making a mistake isn't a licence to commit a crime. I do think companies should be held responsible for their flaws but doing that doesn't involve letting people run rampant and causing damage for innocent people.

Why not blame the CRIMINAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148582)

Yeah, blame the criminals for exploiting a system designed to dispense cash based solely on a 4 digit number

It is easy to run down granny as she crosses the street too. Just because it is easy does not mean it is right to do or that we should forgive people just because it is easy.

The proper response to a banking industry that refuses to use a more robust security regimen is to take your money out of the bank, then start getting others to do so as well, Not rob the bank.

I am not sure I would want to bank at a bank that requires an RFID chip in my hand, a 30 letter password, Iris biometrics and a blood sample just to get $20 from the bank. Security and Usability lie on the same axis at opposite ends.

Re:Good. (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148704)

Ya, it is the crimials fault. I might forget to lock my door, that doesn't make it any more ok for people to steal from me.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148366)

If you really want to reduce fraud, make the banks financially responsible for it. As it is, there's little incentive for the industry to increase their security.

I'm not saying this guy shouldn't be in jail. We should absolutely punish those who take unfair advantage of the system. But if we really want results, we should fix the system.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148502)

Um, the banks already are financially responsible for it.

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148498)

Yet the scumbags at AIG and the financial institutions robbed most americans blind and they were given end of the year bonuses!

Hack the planet! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148052)

Information wants to be free. They are trashing our rights! Trashing!!

Re:Hack the planet! (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148154)

I see we're still dressing in the dark, Eugene.

That's right! Ice... man. (1)

JohnRabotnik (1746072) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148058)

I am dangerous.

Interesting..... (5, Insightful)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148072)

"It is a shame that someone with so much ability chose to use it in a manner that hurt many people," Dembosky said in an e-mail message."

That in light of

"Butler served an 18-month prison term for the crime and fell on hard times after his 2002 release, he said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday. "I was homeless, staying on a friends couch. I couldn't get work," he wrote. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime."

I'm not saying he's right, but it does highlight something interesting about finding work as an ex-con.

Re:Interesting..... (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148144)

Of course it didn't help that he was convicted of abusing the trust that people gave him when offered his services as a security consultant in the first place (which appears to be his only marketable skills).

Re:Interesting..... (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148214)

And of course "I couldn't get work" is often used as a proxy for "they are not handing me the exact job I think I deserve." There ARE jobs out there people. There IS work to be done. Oh, not good enough for you? Yes, I can see your only recourse is to become a thief. Uh huh. The people I've known who were thieves always came up with very good reasons why they just HAD to steal. Bullshit.

Re:Interesting..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148386)

The right answer is to lie and say you aren't a felon.

Re:Interesting..... (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148616)

So, when a criminal does his time, gets out, and can't find a job, your only response is, "It's your own fault." That's just stupid.

There seems to be a widespread belief that if you have a social problem, all you need to do is find somebody to blame. As when ex-cons can't find work: it's their own fault for breaking the law. Moral myopia aside, that just doesn't work out. If a criminal has no chance to "go straight" you're guaranteeing that he'll go on comiting crimes.

Yeah, yeah, many ex-cons will do that no matter what. But does that mean we have to make it their only choice? Perhaps helping them find lawful alternatives sticks in your self-righteous craw, but ask yourself, is that any worse than paying the huge costs (about $22K per prisoner per year) of an ever-growing prison population [wikipedia.org] ? Not to mention the huge economic and human costs of the crimes this culture of punishment is facilitating.

Re:Interesting..... (0)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148750)

Besides the fact there are a lot of people that aren't convicted criminals that can't find work that don't resort to crime, but this guy had a job and chose to abuse that trust. If you get convicted of stealing cash from the register what company in their right mind will hire you and why should they? Not only have you removed any doubts about honesty your recored shows that you ARE less than honest. Like I said there are plenty of people out there looking for work. It's supply and demand, and when you control a commodity, in this case jobs, people that want the commodity are at your mercy. This guy had a chance to have a honest job and he threw it away. Why give him second and third chances when so many others are looking for the first chance.

And lets be fair just because your a convicted felon doesn't mean you can't get work, it just means your going to have to do more, probably manual, labor for less. That's life.

Re:Interesting..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148148)

Butler was arrested for writing malicious software that installed a back-door program on computers -- including some on federal government networks -- that were susceptible to a security hole.

The dude had a second chance. He blew it. And on the federal level no less.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I'm not even going to listen to you a third time.

Re:Interesting..... (2, Insightful)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148192)

Absolutely correct. There were many things he *could* have done, but that his pride as a "security consultant" (and I use that term very loosely) *wouldn't* let him. Personally, he's best off where he is going.

Perhaps, in time, when he gets out he will have a new perspective on life. Probably not.

Re:Interesting..... (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148682)

Perhaps the best thing he could have done, considering his pride as a "security consultant", would have been to inform the admins of how he got in, and stopped there. He may have even been able to, as a "security consultant", find a legal profession doing "penetration testing."

He could have even started a consulting firm doing penetration testing. Most of the people that I've met that own construction related small businesses have "done time". Tolerance of risk seems to be better served making good money legally.

Re:Interesting..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148164)

This is true. They are given little chance of employment and yet are expected to become members of society again.

The stigma for even little things carries for life.

Re:Interesting..... (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148202)

Moral of that story?

Don't be a dumbass.

Quite right. (3, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148282)

Some things deserve a permanent stigma: in this case how can you seriously expect he would continue to act in a role that requires significant trust when he's proven he can't be trusted?

Re:Interesting..... (1, Offtopic)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148422)

There is always manual labor jobs.

As long as its not violent or involve children most manual labor jobs are ok with some spots on your record.

If you can tough it out for five years then you can start getting back into office jobs.

By the time that he got arrested if he had stayed clean he could have started to rebuild his life.

He did it to himself. (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148198)

I'm not saying he's right, but it does highlight something interesting about finding work as an ex-con.

His first conviction was for criminally violating the trust of his employer and working in direct contravention to his employer's interests and mission. His skills are such that to be employed effectively he must be trusted.

Oops!

He did it to himself. No employment for him. (He'd have been lucky to find burgers to flip.)

So then he starts a business. High corporate positions may have been barred to him by his first conviction, but a lot of smaller stuff still was open. Yet what does he chose? Cybercrime.

Oops!

When he finally gets out from THIS one he'll be watched so closely that even organized crime is unlikely to work with him.

Re:Interesting..... (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148212)

"It is a shame that someone with so much ability chose to use it in a manner that hurt many people," Dembosky said in an e-mail message." That in light of "Butler served an 18-month prison term for the crime and fell on hard times after his 2002 release, he said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday. "I was homeless, staying on a friends couch. I couldn't get work," he wrote. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime." I'm not saying he's right, but it does highlight something interesting about finding work as an ex-con.

What type of work was he trying to get? Not that it is easy to find work as an ex-con, but it isn't impossible either (so long as the person lowers his expectations... read flipping burguers.) That is part of the cross an ex-con got to carry, right or wrong.

Re:Interesting..... (0, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148628)

read flipping burguers

Huh.

Is that some sort of pretentious arrogant French implementation of the American Hamburger? Does it have some sort of special bread, aged cheeses, fancy vegetables, and a sauce that took 20 minutes to make?

Huh Does it?

So.. where can I get one?

Re:Interesting..... (2, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148222)

I couldn't get work," he wrote. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime."

Cry me a river.

Try standing out in front of Lowe's or Home Depot on a Saturday morning. It seems to work for others.

There's plenty of work for ex-cons who want to work. He just took the easy way.

Re:Interesting..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148226)

That has always bothered me. We send people to prison and then expect them to subsist on working as a janitor at 2-3 different jobs when they get out. Everyone wants a chance to make something of themselves and the only option we give to ex-cons is crime.

Re:Interesting..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148338)

Actions have consequences. We all must live by this rule. Get over it.

Re:Interesting..... (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148438)

I might even buy this if it was a sort of "stealing bread to survive" kind of thing, just doing enough online hacking to put a roof over his head and food in his belly. But even if that's how this second dip into the world of mass theft began, any notion that this was just a form of employment kind of gets disproven by the sheer size of what he did.

Re:Interesting..... (3, Insightful)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148278)

I do agree, why does it have to be a forwarning to employers that you had a criminal past. If I spent my time in jail as decreed by the law for my crime, I have served my sentenced and therefor deserve the respect of doing the time, and start with a clean slate. No one will hire a criminal because they do not believe they have been reformed. I tend to agree the system is faulty, but I would start with making it somewhat less complicated for an ex con to get a job.

If he was young, and made a mistake, and paid for it, he deserves a REAL second chance. I think that is why so many of the cons try to get right back in after they get out....because not only have they become accustomed to that life, but also, they do not have to deal with rejection, starving, homelessness, etc..

Re:Interesting..... (2, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148530)

Perhaps that is the reason we as a society don't like to hire criminals. We think they get off too easy. Make prison something to regret going to. That way, not only do you not want to go back, but you've paid through the nose for your crime and people will understand you've learned your lesson.

And quite frankly, if life sucks so bad that you'd rather be in jail than on the streets, then there's something seriously fucked up about the way we take care of ourselves. If homeless folks can't even make a living better than the crooks behind bars, then crime DOES pay.

I would do these
* Make prison a hellish place for EVERYONE...including those ass-bangers who think it's funny to rape their fellow inmates and get away with it.
* Take care of homelessness

Re:Interesting..... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148326)

One thing about developing a bad reputation like this is that afterward you are completely dependent on the charity of others to help sort it out. That's the way it should be. If you see someone else doing the exact opposite of what you did, there is some hope that you might understand the consequences of your own actions repent from them. Of course, finding someone in the position to help you out, with the heart to do so, can be really tough. I don't like they idea that we should atomically give people a second change once they've done something like this. I feel like they will look back and draw the wrong conclusion, then they will end up repeating their offense for sure. You see this a lot when a spouse is unfaithful and the other graciously forgives them.

On the other hand, if we didn't waste so much on fancy houses and nice cars and things like that, there might be more room for the kind of loving charity that really could have made a difference here (although he was living on a friends couch, so he was already better off than many who do not turn to crime, in terms of material wealth).

Re:Interesting..... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148358)

I'll bet if he tried hard enough he could've gotten a small employer to understand his situation, especially if he has the coding skills he appears to have. Over the course of years/decades he could've rebuilt his reputation. A brilliant coder is hard enough to find, let alone one that has to work for relative peanuts. He could've found a job, it just wouldn't have been paying him what he was "worth".

He made his choice twice now... throw him away.
(Yeah, it's cold, but he's stealing MY credit card numbers!!)

Re:Interesting..... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148542)

> "It is a shame that someone with so much ability chose to use it in a manner that hurt many people," Dembosky said in an e-mail message."

Yes, he should have done something moral like working as a defense contractor.

For writing? (1, Flamebait)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148132)

"Butler was arrested for writing malicious software that installed a back-door program on computers "

I hope that's for releasing/using the software rather than the simple act of writing it.

READ THE FUCKING SUMMARY (1, Informative)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148228)

It's right there in the summary "...installed a back-door program on computers — including some on federal government networks...". 'Installed' not 'was capable of installing'. Basic literacy ftw?

Re:READ THE FUCKING SUMMARY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148370)

Why be a dick about it?

Re:READ THE FUCKING SUMMARY (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148500)

Probably because it actually takes longer to post a question, than just reading in the article you're replying to.

Re:For writing? (1)

ArmagedionTime (1647309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148248)

"Butler was arrested for writing malicious software that installed a back-door program on computers "

I hope that's for releasing/using the software rather than the simple act of writing it.

From TFA: Authorities allege that during this time, Butler began to illegally hack into computer networks operated by the Air Force, NASA and the federal Defense and Energy departments. He didn't steal any information, but again left open a door so he could re-enter later, authorities said.

Anyone else think that an 18 month term for hacking into federal computers seems a little lenient?

Re:For writing? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148394)

I actually think that the penalty should be the same regardless of whose computer he broke into (other than his own).

Re:For writing? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148754)

The NASA hacker from England served 0 seconds in U.S. prison.

Slashdot misses the point (4, Insightful)

netik (141046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148174)

This isn't about a 13 year sentence for "Hacking."

This is a 13 year sentence for credit fraud, credit card theft, and oh yeah, he also stored the credit card numbers on a computer where other people could get to them.

There's no cleverness here that needs awarding. Back doors are easy to install when the FBI has already allowed you to contract there.

Re:Slashdot misses the point (1)

carpefishus (1515573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148726)

"he also stored the credit card numbers on a computer where other people could get to them." Too bad his computer wasn't PCI compliant. They might have shaved 6 months off the sentence.

Doesn't make a lot of sense. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148180)

Butler served an 18-month prison term for the crime and fell on hard times after his 2002 release, he said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday. "I was homeless, staying on a friends couch. I couldn't get work," he wrote. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime."

Well yeah, that makes sense, seeing as it worked so well the first time. . .

Sure it does (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148310)

He's not homeless anymore.

Ok, kidding aside - if you know you're screwed, that means that you have less to risk on a second attempt. He's already an ex-con. When he gets out after this sentence he's going to be...an ex-con. Nothing will have changed, his prospects will be exactly the same. It's a good gamble, if you look at it from a game theory-ish kind of viewpoint.

But that being said I find it unlikely that he couldn't find any work at all. I mean hells bells, he's got the balls to install backdoor programs on an FBI server but he can't lie on a resume?

Re:Sure it does (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148412)

Usually when people say they can't find work, they mean work they are willing to do. He might be able to get a job at McDonalds or 7-eleven, but they probably weren't up to his standards.

I have a lot of friends who say they can't find a job because of the job market. When I ask them if they've tried at applying for a job at a fast food place with a help-wanted sign on the door they universally respond with something like "I won't work fast food" or "I'm looking for more money than that". It's hard to earn my sympathy, if that's all the harder you'll try. I've worked fast-food, I've been a janitor, I've worked a cash register. If I were to lose my job today, I wouldn't consider myself above such things. It's all work that needs to get done.

Re:Sure it does (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148560)

My wife has tried that. She holds a CPA and cant get a job flipping burgers. Why? the "overqualified" bullshit response. They know that the second a real job comes along she will bolt and run. Honestly you have to outright lie to employers today. Hide your experience and education if you might be overqualified.

Re:Sure it does (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148568)

Ok, kidding aside - if you know you're screwed, that means that you have less to risk on a second attempt. He's already an ex-con. When he gets out after this sentence he's going to be...an ex-con. Nothing will have changed, his prospects will be exactly the same. It's a good gamble, if you look at it from a game theory-ish kind of viewpoint.

A sentence of several years suggests he did have a lot to risk, more than versus his first attempt in fact.

Good for the FBI (2, Interesting)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148346)

This is the kind of investigation and prosecution they should be doing a lot more of. While we generally refer to it as spam, a good bit of it is attempted robbery. It's pretty brazen behavior; someone trying to rob me every day, every few minutes. As our national criminal investigative body, the FBI is the appropriate department to pursue these crimes. They've been a little slow to adapt, but I'm glad to see the FBI can catch someone at this.

out of desperation? (1)

methuselah (31331) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148372)

what you sympathize with this turd? so i suppose you luv all the pharmaceutical and phallus expansion spam you get in your mailbox every day too? I have had some hard times but, have never gotten so desperate that I thought that I was entitled to do whatever I felt was the easiest way to steal money from someone else. if i had resorted to such action i sure wouldn't want anyone's sympathy and my view of anyone that did sympathize wouldn't be that they were compassionate, it would be what a sucker and it is too bad i didn't steal from that chump. pathetic!

No sympathy. (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148442)

No sympathy from me. Why should I feel any more sorry for him than someone that snatches purses, or robs liquor stores?

Prison is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148446)

The current so-called "justice" system is so pro-criminal it's sickening. About 70% of criminals released from prison end up going back to crime within 3 years (and that's only including the ones that get caught, of course). The prison system is a failure; its goal (curing psychopathy) is impossible.

All crimes which currently earn a prison sentence should earn the death penalty. And I don't mean the moronic way the death penalty is currently done, where there's so much red tape and bullshit appeals that most of them die of natural causes first. There should be a guillotine right there in the courtroom. A piece of scum like this guy shouldn't be costing society any more than he already has...

Re:Prison is bullshit (2, Insightful)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148686)

Disregarding the many other ways in which this is impractical, draconian, etc...

Since those most skilled in the areas necessary to test our security infrastructure are liable to be executed in this manner for simply working to *acquire* said skills, let's just leave it up to some hostile foreign entity to find the security holes. We'll clearly be much better off in the long run.

Well, it could be good for him (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148486)

He won't have to worry about where his next meal will be coming from or whether he can pay the rent....

What hard times did he fall on? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148554)

He broke the law, got out, and had a chance to redeem himself. The article said he fell on hard times in 2002. He's a talented programmer, which means everything from programming and below he could do. I know plenty of folks who get out of prison, and bust their butts struggling, just to stay out, and they don't have near this guy's marketable skills. He's a felon, you say? As if that means he can't get work programming. Guess what: I'm a programmer. I got out of prison last January after serving a 6 year sentence. (10+ year Slashdotter, just posting AC for obvious reasons.) I do consulting. 2009: about $65,000, and that's because I'm just getting my feet on the ground. His eighteen months was supposed to make him harder. Obviously it didn't; he punked out and took the easy way. Since it's obvious he didn't learn the lesson he was supposed to have, he deserves having to go back to try to learn it again.

Warrant for Floyd Landis the cyclist for hacking? (5, Interesting)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148624)

That's right the guy who got caught with the performance enhancing drugs during the Tour de France had a warrant issued for him today for hacking. I don't know what it is over but maybe his attempts to tamper with the committee who tested him maybe. I don't know all the info but I just saw it on the news channel.
Nevermind here it is

France Issues Arrest Warrant for Cyclist Floyd Landis
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/sports/cycling/16landis.html [nytimes.com]

PARIS — The United States cyclist Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, but the fallout from his doping case has lingered.

Thomas Cassuto, a French judge, issued an arrest warrant for Landis last month, in connection with a computer hacking case, said Astrid Granoux, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, which is handling the matter.

“That means he would be arrested if he came to France,” Granoux said Monday, adding that the warrant had not been distributed outside of French territory.

Landis, who raced for the Ouch Pro Cycling Team last year, parted ways with the team last fall. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

Cassuto is seeking to question Landis about the data hacking that occurred in the fall of 2006 at the Châtenay-Malabry antidoping lab, which is the facility that conducted the tests on Landis’s urine samples from the 2006 Tour.

A very public dispute between Landis and the lab’s officials was the crux of Landis’s defense in his doping case, which ended in his being barred from the sport for two years. Landis and his defense team had alleged that the lab’s testing procedures were sloppy, so its test results could not be trusted.

Pierre Bordry, the lab’s director, said a security breach of the facility’s computers occurred because hackers wanted to obtain data to discredit its scientists. He said that some of the stolen data had been altered to make it seem as if the lab had made errors.

In November 2006, lab officials filed a formal complaint saying that its computer data had been stolen and used in Landis’s defense. That confidential data was also sent to other labs and news media, officials said. A subsequent search of the lab’s computers turned up a Trojan horse, which is a program that allowed an outsider to remotely download files.

Investigators concluded that the program could have originated from an e-mail message sent to the lab from a computer using the same Internet protocol address as Arnie Baker, Landis’s coach.

Landis and Baker, who continue to insist that Landis did not use performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour, deny being involved in the computer hacking.

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