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Hacking Neighbor Pleads Guilty On Death Threats and Porn

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the wanna-go-for-a-ride-neighbor? dept.

Government 284

wiredmikey writes "Another good reason to make sure your wireless is secured! 'Barry Vincent Ardolf of Blaine, Minnesota pleaded guilty to hacking into his neighbor's wireless Internet system and posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the Vice President of the United States. Just two days into his federal trial in St. Paul, Ardolf stopped the trial to plead guilty. According to the US Department of Justice, in his plea agreement, Ardolf, 45 years-old, was indicted on June 23, 2010, admitted that in February of 2009, he hacked into his neighbor's wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com email accounts in his neighbor's name." Ardolf's guilty plea included child porn possession, as well as the death threats.

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My neighbor's IP (5, Funny)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636410)

First post! ...(from my neighbor's IP address; so mod him down, not me)

Re:My neighbor's IP (4, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636678)

Stupid Flanders!

Re:My neighbor's IP (2)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636862)

Diddly-doodily-death threats!

Re:My neighbor's IP (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636762)

What I don't understand is how did adolf get caught in the first place?

What's not to like? (4, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636418)

Death threats against the vice president, breaking into his neighbor's wireless... But no, he didn't stop there. Child porn.

I wonder if some company that has a wireless security technology hired this guy to make their product look necessary.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

gnarfel (1135055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636444)

+1 Ethically Questionable Business Tactic

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637284)

+1 Ethically Questionable Business Tactic

So when is the IPO?

Re:What's not to like? (5, Informative)

andolyne (1342935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636452)

when you read TFA, it actually just sounds like he was screwing around and the child porn was more like "this'll get the dude in trouble" rather than "I have a private collection because i'm a pedo".

Either way, the dude was really stupid and deserves to get jail time for it.

edit: changed the word "article" to TFA cause that's the way it's done here ;)

Re:What's not to like? (5, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636518)

The article is rather sparse on details, but what interests me is that Ardolf didn't succeed in his "this'll get the dude in trouble" plan; what led the police to believe that the access point had been 'hacked'? What security was used, for that matter? Were there logs?

The guilty plea certainly makes it seem like this is a case where computer fraud was handled correctly by the system, and since the courts often seem to make the mistake that 'IP address == person' it'd be good to see how they went about distinguishing the actual criminal from the victim here.

Re:What's not to like? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636766)

it'd be good to see how they went about distinguishing the actual criminal from the victim here.

Big Brother was monitoring his internet usage just like they do for hundreds of thousands of other citizens in this post-9/11 world.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636848)

Oh, come on. The fool sent threats via email.

Monitoring?

Next you are going to blame google for turning him in.

Re:What's not to like? (4, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636768)

Browser history, cache, etc.

They would have gotten the guy who owns the net connections PC and gone to town, found it clean of any corroborating evidence and then gone looking for neighbours who might have been using it (since it would have been a regular thing over time). Cross reference which neighbours don't have their own net connections with a motive (who had a grudge against him).

Easier to narrow down the field of who would do it by motive, of course once it was established it was a frame up.

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636850)

Not that simple.. hopefully. At least a physical search would require a warrant... maybe?

Re:What's not to like? (2)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636982)

It would have.

Police still don't think technically, they stick to police work and leave the dissecting of evidence to professionals. They would have thought, "The crime was done via computer, so lets get a warrant to search for and seize his computer stuff" then they get someone else to go through that, to find the evidence that ties the person to the crime. Finding none they would have gone searching for a motive.

The problems arise when technology forms the core of the case, rather than just being evidence for an crime that is at its core, revenge (whether justified or not).

Either way, this guy (the perp) is likely going to spend a fair while reflecting on why its a bad idea to try and have the police do your dirty work for you.

Note: IANAC (I am not a cop), I just know a few pretty well, the funny thing is some of them are very switched on about technology, its just they are not encouraged to use that knowledge when on cases.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637112)

The could have just checked the DHCP log in the wireless router.

Re:What's not to like? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636830)

The article is rather sparse on details, but what interests me is that Ardolf didn't succeed in his "this'll get the dude in trouble" plan; what led the police to believe that the access point had been 'hacked'? What security was used, for that matter? Were there logs?

Chances are it was wide open, no security. The guy does not sound bright enough to have even hacked WEP, let alone anything stronger.

With that fact in hand, and finding no evidence that the neighbor had any knowledge or ill intent, your circle of suspects is limited to what you can measure with a standard hard ware store carpenters tape measure.

Re:What's not to like? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637148)

This guy has a history of problems with neighbors. This isnt his first run in with the law
See: http://www.startribune.com/local/99435264.html
and
http://www.startribune.com/local/north/96012389.html

Re:What's not to like? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636892)

The guilty plea certainly makes it seem like this is a case where computer fraud was handled correctly by the system

Unfortunately in the US's legal system many innocent people are forced to plead guilty by threats of excess punishment. When you don't have evidence to prove your innocence pleading guilty is sometimes the wise choice.

Re:What's not to like? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637062)

The guilty plea certainly makes it seem like this is a case where computer fraud was handled correctly by the system

Don't be so quick. Many innocent people plead guilty because they've been poorly advised by a public defender. A plea of guilty doesn't mean the person was guilty. It means that a deal was offered and the suspect had no faith in his defense at trial.

Re:What's not to like? (5, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637348)

Minneapolis Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/ [startribune.com] had several stories, which you can find by searching for "Ardolf". Good stories, although not too technical.

The victim, Matt Kostolnik, worked in a law firm, and Ardolf sent messages to the firm. The law firm hired an investigator to figure out what was going on. The investigator tracked Kostolnik's wireless traffic, and fingered Ardolf. Then they sent the cops with a search warrant to Ardolf's house, which produced even more incriminating evidence.

Ardolf turned down a plea bargain on the identity theft charges alone, so they added the child porn charges and went to trial. When he saw the evidence against him, he gave up and pled guilty.

I can remember a handful of cases like this where the victim got out of it because they managed to catch the real criminal. (Wasn't there one recently in England?) I wonder how many cases there were where the innocent victim got convicted.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636718)

I recently moved to a new apartment, my connection wasn't that great and I was having problems with my router. I used WEP to make it "light" to the router to deal with security and due to some backward compatibility I needed for some devices at home.

When I thought my router was having problems, I bought a new one, only to realize through logs that my lovely neighbor broke into my network and was torrenting and stressing my router, my connection and most likely downloading illegal stuff.

Now, my router is secure, yet there's an asshat hacking my network and making me look bad (in the case that I was detected to be downloading by **IA and friends).

Luckily, I tracked this down and secure further the network, but without proper tools, what can a normal user do against these smart asses?

Re:What's not to like? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636786)

Manually assigned IP addresses and manual routing would put a big dent in this sort of thing.

Re:What's not to like? (1, Insightful)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637126)

Or you could only allow certain MAC addresses to connect.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637296)

Since when has MAC filtering been more than a minute annoyance to an attacker. Or lack of DHCP/ Routing.

Strong passwords, WPA2-CCMP and a good watch on your logs is the only thing that's going to keep you safe (at this point in time) if you are home user.

Re:What's not to like? (1, Informative)

FutureDomain (1073116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636870)

what can a normal user do against these smart asses?

Here's an idea. Get a Linux based router (I have a Linksys with DD-WRT) and use it to muck with any connections coming from his MAC address. You could block all his Bittorrent connections and redirect his HTTP connections somewhere else (such as a rickroll or goatse). Do this long enough to annoy the heck out of him and then block him completely using a higher grade encryption (such as WPA2) and/or MAC filtering.

Re:What's not to like? (3, Informative)

ProfanityHead (198878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636992)

what can a normal user do against these smart asses?

Here's an idea. Get a Linux based router (I have a Linksys with DD-WRT) and use it to muck with any connections coming from his MAC address. You could block all his Bittorrent connections and redirect his HTTP connections somewhere else (such as a rickroll or goatse). Do this long enough to annoy the heck out of him and then block him completely using a higher grade encryption (such as WPA2) and/or MAC filtering.

MAC filtering? SERIOUSLY?

That is just so wrong.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637134)

If he doesnt have a large number of devices, AND he doesnt add new devices with any frequency, then adding a few address to a MAC list isnt a bad idea. Unless the neighbor knows what mac to spoof, he wont get on.

It by no means is a great or even good security practice, but in certain situations, it isnt that horrible.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637130)

If BitTorrent never works then it is obvious that it is blocked. If you slow it down to something ridiculously measly, such as a few kb/s, and eventually disconnect at random intervals, it is much more annoying for the neighbor and hence funnier that way.

Same goes for HTTP redirects. Make them only happen every 50 pages or something. If you have a fair bit of time on your hands then injecting fake news articles onto their favorite news site could be interesting.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637194)

I'm revoking your nerd merit badge for explaining all of that instead of linking to the obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] .

Re:What's not to like? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637280)

Yeah well I'm going to revoke your nerd merit badge revoking privileges and replace you with a very simple shell script.

On second thoughts, someone could just write a browser add-on to prevent people such as me making such terrible mistakes in future.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

Jardine (398197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637272)

If BitTorrent never works then it is obvious that it is blocked. If you slow it down to something ridiculously measly, such as a few kb/s, and eventually disconnect at random intervals, it is much more annoying for the neighbor and hence funnier that way.

My ISP provides that service already. Thanks Bell Canada!

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637278)

But if they are smart enough they could "clone" your MAC address onto their card if it supports it, and then the MAC filtering wouldn't work

Re:What's not to like? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636924)

Yo, it's your "asshat" neighbor here. If you're running the busted-ass piece of non-encryption that is WEP, your router is by definition not secure -- that's kinda how I got on your network, get it?

As to what you can do against my smart ass (besides kissing it), try monitoring your fucking network -- if not in detail (what MACs are connected) then at least in aggregate (
I have transferred x MB upstream and y MB downstream this month, vs. an average month. Then there's using encryption (i.e. WPA-PSK with a strong passphrase, or better.), and even setting your AP's transmit power and choosing an antenna to give adequate coverage of your property while minimizing the number of neighbors who will get adequate signal strength.

Of course, you can't do any of those "without proper tools" -- you need, at minimum, a functioning brain. Your use of WEP on your primary network reveals you don't have one.

So long, and thanks for all teh b4ndw1tz0rz, n00b.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637086)

That's exactly my point. You think you're the smartest guy because you're stealing your neighbor's BW? You can be as smart as you want, but if you pick my lock, and try to get into my place when I'm in, in my defense I can shoot your head with my gun.

Then again, I check my network and see something abusive. I don't care if a person uses my network (I used to leave it open - as a grad student you realize that some people just don't have the money to pay for a freaking network connection). What I don't like is abusive people that get into my network even though I'm using security. Let's face it, your regular lock on an average US neighborhood can be open even with a credit card, no reason to break into the houses. You expect that little security will keep your neighbors informed that you DON'T want them to use it.

Then again, if I manage to break my neighbor's WPA then I'm good and I can start downloading whatever it pleases me on his behalf?

Re:What's not to like? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637016)

Luckily, I tracked this down and secure further the network, but without proper tools, what can a normal user do against these smart asses?

Read Slash Dot occasionally and notice that WEP is insecure.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=WEP+insecure+site%3Aslashdot.org [lmgtfy.com]

Move away from WEP (its been known for 5 years to be easily hacked).

WPA2 is where you want to be.
I had a laptop with a mini-pci network adapter built in that was old enough that it didn't support anything but WEP. 8 bucks got me a replacement card from Amazon, which did WPA2.

Computers are easy to upgrade. Some stuff is harder.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636938)

Editing? On my ./?

Re:What's not to like? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637110)

He was originally pissed at his neighbors for calling the cops on him when he got caught kissing their son. I wouldn't be so sure of his motives.
Also, you should have wrote RTFA rather than just TFA.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636502)

You think that the dude hit Google to find what he considerred good child porn. I have no clue what that would be since I consider it all to be bad. Also, CP is such a common thing to plant these days. He needs to step up his game.

Also, did the guy hack it, or just get access to it since it was left without proper security, as I would not consider it "hacking" to access the neighbor's wireless.

Furthermore, I am one of the people that believe that people should understand the technology they use, or else not use it at all (you know, learn to drive before you try to operate a motor vehicle). There are way too many people who buy wireless routers, hook them up, and never touch the security because they know nothing about it. At that point kid, stick to wired, as it is simpler. No, I am not saying learn how TCP and UDP tramsfer packets, but I also did not say you need to become an auto mechanic to drive a car. Just a good, general understanding.

Maybe next time home skillet will put some better security on his router or else go to using wired

Re:What's not to like? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636554)

Unsecured doesn't imply incompetent - there are people who happily leave a public WiFi connection to the net which is securely isolated from their internal network. Hell, there are businesses [fon.com] built on exactly that premise.

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636636)

I actually stopped and read TFA for once. You are correct and I will retract what I said about wireless. My fault on that kid

It is possible he connected to the wifi, and never touched the dude's pc, which it sounds like the case is.

Now is where it gets gross: the CP was e-mailed out to the neighbor's co-workers as an attachment. That means home slice was downloading CP to use an an attachment.

Also, the MySpace page the guy made with the same image should have sent red flags that it is not him and somebody harrassing him. How often do you hear of some dude doing that?

Also, how did this guy get his neighbor's coworkers e-mail addresses? He must have either: hacked into the dude's pc or hacked into something and did real hacking, or worked with the person and hence knew the e-mail addresses already, or knew the dude good enough to get the e-mail addresses.

Also, nobody, unless you have no remorse and are totally cold hearted, would up and try to do that to their neighbor. This article does not state what the neighbor did. Maybe the neighbor f*@ked his wife and slapped all 4 of his kids in the face and is a super massive dude that works out and is too big to go beat up. We don't know.

The CP part is pretty gross since the dude did not just go visit sites or something, he downloaded the stuff and sent it off (makes you wonder how much the dude downloaded).

I do think that we should not just assume this guy is a nutjob (the CP leads us into it, but even still) we do not know if this was justified or not. If my neighbor f*@ked my wife and slapped all 4 of my kids in the face I would do something back to him for sure. I would not download CP to get him back, but I would get him back (CL Personal ads anybody?)

Re:What's not to like? (4, Interesting)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636716)

Unsecured doesn't imply incompetent - there are people who happily leave a public WiFi connection to the net which is securely isolated from their internal network.

In fact, if you intend doing anything online which might raise the ire of authorities, "securing" your WiFi is actually quite foolish. What you are effectively doing is removing a reasonable doubt that activity over the connection is your activity.

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637010)

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that has already been tried and failed.

plausible deniability via TOR (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637242)

Install TOR on your computer [wordpress.com] . Then you can have all kinds of random illegal traffic going through your net connection and blame (most of) it on strangers.

Seth

Re:What's not to like? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637264)

"Good child porn", if not oxymoronic, is probably not hard to find. Once I saw a Wikileaks story on the "secret" blacklist of websites that Norway was firewalling. Somehow the list got out to Wikileaks, and all the URLs were published there as links. I clicked on a random one from the list, thinking "he he he, this wouldn't work if I were in Norway." Except the site was kind of gross so I clicked Back and tried another one. That was gross too... I started to think, hmmm, I can see why these sites pissed off the Norwegians! Then I suddenly had an epiphany: don't load websites that have been banned in Norway.

Re:What's not to like? (0)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636524)

I wonder if some company that has a wireless security technology hired this guy to make their product look necessary.

I haven't seen a home wireless router that didn't include WPA in ages. I'm pretty sure there aren't separate "wireless security companies" with nefarious agendas, so much as there are network security specialists working at every major wireless router manufacturer.

The problem isn't the hardware, the problem exists between the chair and the keyboard. Any security system requires the cooperation of the end user to do its job; if they switch security off, or never switch it on in the first place, all the clever engineering in the world won't protect them. Of course, usually what they're being protected from is leeches, instead of asshole neighbours intent on ruining their lives.

Re:What's not to like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636588)

Any security system requires the cooperation of the end user to do its job

Any good security system should do its job despite the actions of the end user.

Re:What's not to like? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636906)

I'm not convinced of that. You're correct if the end user is semi-competent, but incorrect if the end user is an idiot. After all, the security system likely has an "off" switch somewhere (physical or otherwise). A security system cannot "do its job despite the actions of the end user" if the action of the end user is to turn them damn thing off, because they can't figure out how to make it work.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636556)

He worked for Medtronic [citypages.com] , which is a huge recipient of healthcare funding for unnecessary surgeries for old people. So, in a sense, yes, he was being indirectly paid by the US government as he tried to frame his neighbor as being anti-government-spending. I'd say that qualifies as promoting a product.

Re:What's not to like? (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637224)

Death threats against the vice president, breaking into his neighbor's wireless... But no, he didn't stop there. Child porn.

Read deeper.

Think before another knee-jerk mod-up:

It began in August 2008, when Ardolf's new neighbors called Blaine police to report a creepy encounter. Ardolf, they told police, had picked up their 4-year-old son and kissed him. After that, Matt and Bethany Kostolnik said, they intended to just keep their distance from him.


Unknown to them, he began moving to exact revenge.


He created e-mail accounts in Matt Kostolnik's name and used a password-cracking program to hack into the Kostolniks' wireless router. He then sent e-mails -- one containing sexually suggestive language, others containing images of child pornography -- to Matt Kostolnik's co-workers and boss. It was all meant to appear that the e-mails came from Kostolnik. Ardolf also used the bogus e-mail accounts to create a fake MySpace page, which contained a child porn image.

Later, he sent another fake e-mail to Kostolnik's law firm, purporting to be from a woman who claimed Kostolnik sexually assaulted her. The woman was real, the incident was not.

Vengeful neighbor in Blaine pleads to Biden threat, hacking [startribune.com] [Dec 17]

They never said how he got caught? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636428)

And no statement from the guy he tried to frame? News sucks nowadays, even for nerds.

Sigh... (1)

gnarfel (1135055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636430)

Aw come on dude...child porn too? Gross.

Tea Party strikes again! (-1, Flamebait)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636462)

Nice job... not really your best and brightest, or is he? That's sad. :(

Re:Tea Party strikes again! (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636528)

To be fair, the governor of Minnesota at the time the emails were sent (Tim Pawlenty) is a Republican, and the only sitting senator of Minnesota was Amy Klobuchar (Democrat), as Franken's win was not yet certified in February 2009. This was not partisan, this was simply him hating his neighbor.

Re:Tea Party strikes again! (2)

DJ Particle (1442247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636536)

Addendum: How much legal headache did his neighbor go through before Ardolf was suspected? The article doesn't say

Re:Tea Party strikes again! (2)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636814)

Likely all his computer equipment confiscated for evidence, some good ol' police questioning (think how bad you would be treated if the police know you were downloading child porn) and of course his local reputation tainted by association with the case.

Of course once forensics failed to find corroborating evidence on his PC that he did the crimes, they would have immediately gone into 'this is a frame up' mode, and he would have been questioned further in regards to who would have a motive to having him arrested.

Until all the paper work is done, the 'I's dotted and the 'T's crossed, he will be without his computer gear, since it would be evidence in the case still.

WPA security is not rocket surgery! ;)

Re:Tea Party strikes again! (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637276)

I think it was pretty obvious when he was supposedly sending death threats to the vice-president's office using his full name...

or when his co-workers asked him "uh - why did you write that email to me last night?".

Re:Tea Party strikes again! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636842)

I'm assuming a bit. He's going to get hauled in for questioning, his computer(s) forensically searched, and in general live under a cloud for at least a few weeks. My assumption is that the search found nothing, so the cops dug a little deeper. All they really need to do is sit there watching the WiFi router's registrations (pretty much every WiFi router I've seen released in the last decade shows DHCP and WiFi registrations), and then watch what the neighbor is up to. Still, the first assumption the cops are going to have is that the guy with the WiFi is the one downloading the child porn and sending out the death threats, so the onus is going to very much be on him to prove to the cops that he's innocent.

Of course, if he and his neighbor had some sort of an ongoing feud, he may have just told the cops "It wasn't me, but the fucking asshole beside me has been harassing me for some time." If he had some other evidence that he and this guy had had troubles, it could have shortcircuited the whole process and set them on the neighbor's tail in short order.

In all fairness... (5, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636558)

In all fairness, I live in Minnesota. I can vouch that there's just not much else to do around here in the winter.

Re:In all fairness... (0)

MichaelKristopeit314 (1963188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636606)

if anything, there is more to do... but continue with the excuses you use to justify your inactivity.

Re:In all fairness... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636694)

Trolling /. was likely not on DWMorse's agenda you nutjob.

Re:In all fairness... (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit312 (1963184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636722)

why could an individual only participate in "Trolling /." in the winter?

you're an idiot.

did your mother name you "HornWumpus"? why do you cower behind a chosen pseudonym? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:In all fairness... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637326)

Lunatics like you with no sense of humor.

That's why I'm hiding too!

curious... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636594)

wonder how he got caught...

Re:curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636640)

wonder how he got caught...

Probably named his machine 'barryvan' or something similar. But no, it's actually quite simple.

Once they realized the IP it came from, tracked down the registered user through the ISP and talked to them (most likely in a jail cell), looked through his machine and realized hey maybe this guy didn't do it. I'm sure at that point they looked at the router's logs and noticed multiple MACs. Then it is just a matter of tracking down exactly which house (and with the range of wifi, that is not a lot you need to track) and getting subpoenas for each one. Matching up the MAC and you are done.

Re:curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636764)

Somehow I doubt that someone who doesn't secure his wifi sets his router up to keep logs.
More likely they waited for that idiot to connect to the router again.

Re:curious... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636954)

Most cheap routers I know have a "DHCP log page" in their administration area, no need to set anything up.
But your theory is valid too.

Re:curious... (1)

CitizenCain (1209428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636800)

It's not even that hard or involved. Assuming the "hacker" uses wifi himself, it's pretty trivial to monitor packets in the neighborhood, find the offending device and use simple triangulation to locate the house the device is in.

Re:curious... (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636662)

Likewise. Did he spoof his MAC address to match his neighbor's? Not doing so would certainly raise suspicions in the AP's log.

Re:curious... (2)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636732)

The only thing I can think of is that the neighbor starts finding this suspicious stuff about them online. Calls the cops (or the cops call him) and then start pulling records off the wireless router.. Like you said the MAC address should be recorded. They may have been able to subpoena (or not, thanks patriot act) the local ISP's and start pulling mac addresses from the neighborhood.

lesson learned heh.

Re:curious... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636684)

wonder how he got caught...

If it was a Verizon router, the MAC logs would do it, if he used hi own MAC. And yes, Verizon can remotely access THEIR OWN (see: leasing) routers, and log MACs. All you really need to do to leave a pattern is to log onto two or more Verizon routers with the same MAC, and they are potentially able to effectively triangulate you based any history sessions which left behind any identifying information. It may still be too complicated for Verizon to contact google and ask for information on who's been logging into their gmail, or yahoo account, but when it comes to threatening politicians and kiddy porn, I suspect they'd make an exception. Oh, and now Verizon is kind of part of google, and that must make everything easier. And of course, there are other ways he could have been caught.

Go Big (1)

DreamArcher (1690064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636632)

Why the vice pres. If he's going to go that far why not go all the way?

Re:Go Big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636682)

Because the president is black and then it would have been a hate crime... see?! hate crime legislation pays off!

Re:Go Big (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636856)

I doubt the guy was concerned about that. Child porn trumps hate crime laws any day of the week.

Re:Go Big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636750)

Can it be said to die that which can forever lie?

Re:Go Big (1)

CitizenCain (1209428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636754)

My thinking would be that a threat against the president would be more likely to be overlooked - typically there are hundreds of threats against the president's life every year. The vice-president, on the other hand probably doesn't receive many death threats, since that particular position is largely useless (at least in the American system).

Re:Go Big (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636888)

Biden (running into the Oval Office): Barry, look, I got mail!

Obama: Joe, I thought I told you to wipe your shoes before you came in the door.

Biden: Sorry, Barry. But look it's mail, and hate mail even! Someone out there cares! They really care!

Obama (picking up the phone): Could I get some Secret Service in here. Someone let the Gimp out of his cage again... Yeah, that's right. Put him in the Cheney Room this time... no need to remove the rack and the car battery.

Open your wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636642)

"Another good reason to make sure your wireless is secured!..."

Actually this a reason to open your wifi. Do whatever you want with plausible deniability.

Re:Open your wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636712)

Can you convince a jury of 12 this? Remember, most people on a jury have zero clue about Wi-Fi, and the defense rattling off technical details will cause eyes to glaze over.

The prosecution has an easy message: The illegal stuff came from the guy's Wi-Fi.

Most people are trained that possession == guilty just like if there is marijuana in a car, it automatically is owned by the driver. This is actual court precedent. So, even though the packets were made by someone unknown, the device is in the possession of the defendant, and thus he or she is guilty.

The victim of this was damn lucky. Most people that got framed by this would be farting mayonnaise and ketchup in a max security Federal prison.

Derangement (0)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636664)

Politics is important - it is composed almost entirely of things that are important to people, almost by definition of what becomes political. I totally get that.

What I don't get is why so many folks let themselves uniquely be turned into raving lunatics about politics - especially given how important the issues are to them.

If you have a mission, and that mission is important - you need to focus. Turning explosive (figuratively, or literally when you mix in religion) might seem a good way to get attention on something that is overlooked - but if you pay any attention to how political events turn out, it rarely has a positive net effect.

I also understand that a good number of folks are just crazy to begin with - but something about politics seems to flip a obsession switch in ordinarily constructive people, while flipping off the part of the mind willing to consider other points of view as helpful or useful.

I'll certainly agree - Obama will likely be remembered as a rather bad president - something of a combination of the worst aspects of Carter and Bush in terms of policy, approach, and effectiveness. You can't let the presence of what you consider a bad person in power let you destroy yourself in response though - that defeats your very purpose of disagreeing, and invalidates your point entirely.

Sure - the Tea Party is getting the news cycles, and is certainly disrupting the Democratic party. But in the process, it is making itself so nasty, that the revolution it is seeking is quickly becoming self-defeating, like France and its many counter-revolutions. Crazy will do in a brawl - but the most important bits of politics don't work in anyone's favor if all you can do is brawl - and the crazy won't want to be put away.

In most nations, crazy politics is seen as a shameful thing - something only failed states let dominate their politics, lest they fall into decades of senseless war. True - you can't capitulate yourself away from a bully, nor should you bow to the demands of the cruel and selfish (see: Obama), but you don't have to be crazy to make a principled stand, or to speak softly while holding a large political stick.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Derangement (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636796)

What I don't get is why so many folks let themselves uniquely be turned into raving lunatics about politics - especially given how important the issues are to them.

Because the law is fucking insane. For instance, we live in a country where it's considered an appropriate and measured response to throw someone in prison, and confiscate their home, for growing a plant that's some people disapprove of. How do you deal with that rationally?

If you have a mission, and that mission is important - you need to focus. Turning explosive (figuratively, or literally when you mix in religion) might seem a good way to get attention on something that is overlooked - but if you pay any attention to how political events turn out, it rarely has a positive net effect.

The problem is, nothing really has a positive effect. It's been a steady slide down towards authoritarian corporatism for all of my 30 years in this country. Every last tiny shred of hope has been crushed out of me. There is no chance for change besides another American Revolution. Unfortunately, I don't see it coming in my lifetime. All I can do is keep my head down and try not to get caught up in the machine. If anything, I'm surprised we haven't seen more people flip out. The situation definitely calls for it.

Re:Politics (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636802)

Politics is Professional Deal Making, where the name of the game is getting your cut of the proceedings. Actual "fairness" is only used lately when it seems like a useful strategy, oherwise Big Money wins 1-0.

People get freaked about poitics because it's fuzzy judgement zone where the best sneak wins.

Re:Derangement (2)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636970)

His threats against Biden had nothing to do with politics. Had it been McCain in office Palin would have gotten the death threat instead. It seems that he wanted revenge against his neighbors and was sane enough to understand that the local cops were worthless in matters of cyber crime and wanted to insure that semi-competent agents of the law got involved.

Re:Derangement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637330)

If you have a mission, and that mission is important - you need to focus. Turning explosive (figuratively, or literally when you mix in religion) might seem a good way to get attention on something that is overlooked - but if you pay any attention to how political events turn out, it rarely has a positive net effect.

I don't agree - violence/violent provocation is, on the whole, very successful at achieving its political aims, at least in the short term.

Gavrilo Princip killed the Archduke of Austria hoping to start a war that would lead to the creation of a wider Serbian state. Within four years, Yugoslavia was born.

Yigal Amir assassinated the prime minister of Israel to prevent the signing of the Oslo Accords. The PM's successor withdrew support for all of Israel's most significant concessions and the treaty never saw the light of day.

McVeigh's bombing of the Murrah Federal Building didn't lead to the general uprising he had hoped for, but it did bolster flagging support for conservatives; in 1995, the Democrats seem poised for an easy ride back into power. Yet by 1996, it was clear that Republicans would maintain control of both houses of Congress. They spent the next four years investigating the president, thereby pre-empting his entire policy agenda.

In 1999, Ariel Sharon was an aging extremist whose run for prime minister was considered largely symbolic. In 2000, he provoked a riot by bringing a bunch of troops to a religious shrine. Within a year, he was elected by a landslide.

Osama Bin-Laden attacked the US with the goal of provoking an all-out conflict between Western and Islamic states. Western soldiers occupy Iraq and Afghanistan because we're still"winning" that one.

Al Queda bombed Madrid in order to undermine support for the Iraq war in that country. Within a day, the new government announced that Spain's troops would be withdrawn.

It's hard to see how any of those people could have achieved goals within a similar timefrime or on a similar scale through any form of peaceful organization or protest. The amount of influence a single individual can have on the political processes
  in a single violent act is pretty terrifying.

in b4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636676)

In before some whiny neckbeard points out this is a "cracker" not a hacker and whines about this supposed misusage of the term.

MAC Address Spoofing (3, Informative)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636760)

Connecting to a wireless router usually means obtaining IP settings via DHCP. In the process, the MAC address of your network adapter (which is supposed to unique) will be recorded on the router, at least for some period of time. Therefore, if you want to connect without leaving an obvious fingerprint pointing back to your computer, first modify the MAC address that your network card is putting out. On Windows machines, drivers often provide a way to specify your MAC address under the "advanced properties" of the adapter. On my Intel network adapter, for example, the setting is listed as "Locally Administered Address", and is undefined by default.

You might even spoof a specific make of network adapter by choosing an "Organizationally Unique Identifier" from the OUI Public Listing [ieee.org] .

Re:MAC Address Spoofing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637128)

All of that is useless if the "man" comes looking for you and seizes your computer(s).

Which is interesting if you live near anyone that does something illegal. They could end up coming after you and everyone else nearby.

Re:MAC Address Spoofing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637292)

Regardless, they can obviously still pinpoint your physical location, so there's that little caveat.

This article has a lot of details... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636780)

The neighbors suspected the guy right away. Fortunately, the investigators listened to the [innocent] neighbors and started looking at the real bad guy.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/112080854.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUoD3aPc:_2yc:a_ncyD_MDCiU [startribune.com]

Re:This article has a lot of details... (1)

wiredmikey (1824622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636878)

Good link and that does have lots more on the history prior to the pleading guilty. The article was updated to link to that story for more details.

Re:This article has a lot of details... (1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636952)

Wow! What a creepy evil bastard. And what a goddamned moron, not accepting the plea agreement. He certainly deserves to rot.

a recipe (0, Troll)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636948)

linux livecd + firefox private browsing + tor + privoxy + spoofed mac address + unsecured neighbor's wifi = teh win

windows user who thinks he is all "hackety hack hack hacker hackety hack" because he uses his neighbor's unsecured wifi = teh suck

Re:a recipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637000)

Yeah because using a bunch of prewritten programs and a livecd made by someone else makes you a total 1337 h4x0r, right?

Re:a recipe (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637180)

I did not say that, and I do not believe that it was implied in my post.

Thank you.

Re:a recipe (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637252)

Yeah because using a bunch of prewritten programs and a livecd made by someone else makes you a total 1337 h4x0r, right?

No, it just means that you're not a complete idiot, and you're aware of the basic steps that you should take if you don't want to be tracked down.

Re:a recipe (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637096)

It wasn't an unsecured access point.

connecting != hacking (0)

Jeffm223 (1790370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637008)

Seriously, it's bad enough to see it in mainstream media.

Re:connecting != hacking (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637046)

He's getting jail time for unauthorized access, he used software to overcome the security of the router. I would agree with the media that it is close enough to hacking. Now had he stumbled on his neighbors' (open) wifi while trying to connect to his own and gotten busted for child porn I would say the term hacking is a bit much.

Re:connecting != hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637150)

This comment is private. Any attempt to view it using software to overcome the security of this webserver constitutes unauthorized access. Have fun in jail, hacker.

Re:connecting != hacking (2)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637154)

Find me a judge who'd consider this content secure and you might have a case. Sucks to be ignorant, doesn't it?

My guess (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637168)

Is that this fool will be sucking some sausage sammich in prison before long. His lawyer may be able to plead out the pedo rap (honestly I just downloaded it from the internet so I could make my neighbor look bad)but I don't think they will ignore this in jail. Sucks to be him but that's what happens when you let your malice get the best of you.
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