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Hacker Sentenced To Longest US Sentence Yet

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the learn-to-make-friends dept.

The Courts 775

Iphtashu Fitz writes "The Associated Press is reporting that a Michigan man has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for his involvement in hacking into the corporate systems of Lowe's Home Improvement and attempting to steal customer credit card information. The sentence far exceeds the 5 1/2 years that hacker Kevin Mitnick spent behind bars. Two others are awaiting sentencing, including one of the first people to ever be convicted of wardriving. Prosecutors said the three men tapped into the wireless network of a Lowe's store in Southfield, Mich., used that connection to enter the chain's central computer system in North Wilkesboro, N.C., and installed a program to capture credit card information. No data was actually collected however."

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775 comments

Great News (1, Troll)

DotNM (737979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099280)

This is great news and will hopefully discourage other hackers.

Re:Great News (1, Troll)

LinuxHeadMN (457423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099319)

It's about time. I highly doubt though this will really act as a detriment to the most hardned script kiddies.

I would like to see more stringent laws regarding this, but however the wheels of justice turn slow.

Re:Great News (3, Interesting)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099353)

Yea... okay. Good idea. Let's throw all those big badass hackers into prison and clog it up even more so that the killers and the rapists can turn parole faster.

Get a grip on reality. Breaking into a computer system is a non-violent crime. It involves monetary damages. Slap the bastard with heavy fines, hit him up with community service and make him pay it back.

You can't just throw everyone who inconveniences you, the poor system admin, into jail.

Re:Great News (5, Funny)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099401)

Breaking into a computer system is a non-violent crime. It involves monetary damages.

You break into a computer and steal my money, and it's going to become a violent crime when I break into your face and cause some non-monetary damages. Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two-hundred dollars.

Re:Great News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099467)

RTFA, they didn't steal any money. Also, I don't think you know what the term monetary damages mean.

Re:Great News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099449)

Generally, once someone's information is stolen, their credit is screwed up. Even if they don't do anything wrong, at all, and it's proven. They will have to prove they're them, basically.

Re:Great News (0, Flamebait)

MadMacSkillz (648319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099507)

Stealing credit card numbers isn't an inconvenience. It's a crime. As in "against the law." Oh boo hoo, the punishment is too excessive, boo hoo. It's a non-violent crime. Fine. I'll empty out your bank account and then I'll pay a fine and we'll be cool, right? That'll scare the hell out of people who are tempted to hack into people's financial business. Oh no, we might get FINED. I'm somehow thinking that doesn't have the same threat as jail time.

Great News-C2C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099510)

"Get a grip on reality. Breaking into a computer system is a non-violent crime. It involves monetary damages. Slap the bastard with heavy fines, hit him up with community service and make him pay it back."

Plus the "victims" get to keep their credit cards.

This is no different than embezzlement (4, Insightful)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099562)

and frankly I think the title should be 'Thief sentenced'. This was about getting rich(er) by theft and had nothing at all to do with 'hacking'. If anything your use of it further disparages the term.

Re:Great News (5, Interesting)

Zaphod_Beebleburp (839364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099581)

You're right, breaking into a computer system is a non-violent crime. Are you saying that since it only concerns monetary damages it doesn't warrant a jail term? I suppose ENRON execs would certainly share your viewpoint. Grip on reality?, I imagine your views on the subject would change if your credit card was charged for purchases you never made. It would stand to reason that someone doing this doesn't have the money to back up the offenses he/she has done so there would be no recouping of lost money. Hit him up with community service? Sure, in each community of the owners of those cards, 100 hrs each. Again you're right, we can't throw everyone who inconveniences us in jail, but we can make sure that those that break the law end up there.

Re:Great News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099588)

Actually, yes, yes you can [onlamp.com]

Re:Great News (2, Interesting)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099600)

Question is, would someone caught walking out the building with a backup tape from the credit card database server be locked up for 9 years, or is this just another waste of tax payers money on making another example of computer hakers when really the computers were just a tool in a rather mundane crime.

Re:Great News (0)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099610)

how in the world did "Yea... okay. Good idea. Let's throw all those big badass hackers into p"

get modded as insightful?

what he is saying is total frelling bullcrap...

Re:Great News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099612)

I think the point of the harsh sentence to send a strong message to future would be criminal hackers.

Its better to nip this crap in the bud then to let the idea of hacking mushroom into something where eventualy as you put it will displace violent criminals for computer 'hackers'.

Re:Great News (5, Insightful)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099374)

There have been murderers sentenced to one-fourth that length of time. This is ridiculius when people start valuing money over life.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Great News (1)

citog (206365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099504)

You mean; when the justice system starts valuing money over life. I see nothing wrong with someone like this doing time. Dealing with the problems in the justice system is a separate issue though.

Longest sententence? (5, Funny)

lunarscape (704562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099281)

That's the longest sententence indeed.

Re:Longest sententence? (1)

falzer (224563) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099537)

Sententence? I'm starting to think the editors make these 'mistakes' on purpose.

No, he was senninetenced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099595)

Heh.

Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099284)

They were criminals. These were crackers, not hackers. You don't install credit card number capturing software on someone's retail network unless you're up to no good.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

msmercenary (837876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099344)

Three down, thousands of skript kiddies to go.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099347)

ahem, it could have been a sniffer to get more passwords, not credit cards. you can never tell, the government/prosecutors always exaggerates the details.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099348)

You don't post anonymously unless you're up to no good.

Re:Good (1)

sekicho (570184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099436)

As a cracker [wikipedia.org] , I take great offense at your misuse of the term.

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099463)

Yeah, America already has the highest per-capita incarceration rates in the world.

Really, is the policy working?

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099527)

And how many of these are crackers like this guy? What's your point, exactly?

(not) Good (1, Insightful)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099571)

They were not being "nice" but they weren't hurting anyone (at least not yet). The real problem I have is Lowes was putting credit card data on a wireless network! It wasn't secure enough, as someone knew about it, and successfully exploited it.

So what's worse:
Not nice (Hackers),
or _grossly_ irresponsible (Lowes)?

for anyone who isn't quite keeping up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099582)

This is an example of a hack:
Rewiring an elevator when no one is looking to make it say witty things [mit.edu] .

This is an example of not a hack:
Using computers to steal credit card numbers.

Do we see the difference? One is "playfully clever" and one is not.

Don't worry. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099295)

Thanks to our parole system which considers rape, murder, and anything else that isn't drug sales to be harmless to society, he'll be out in just four or six.

Don't Do the crime if you can't do the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099299)

Don't Do it

Three Ring Circus! (3, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099304)

For reference, a typical sentence for breaking and entering with intent to steal is about two to four years...

But, hey. It looks better when they catch a guy "breaking" into a computer across the internet then when they catch someone actually breaking into a house. Best to throw the biggest book in the area at them to play the circus up some.

Re:Three Ring Circus! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099393)

To qoute the article...

"I think the massive amount of potential loss that these defendants could have imposed was astounding, so that's what caused us to seek a substantial sentence against Mr. Salcedo," federal prosecutor Matthew Martens said.

Thousands of compromised accounts would have lead to quite the theft rings... this is a little bit more serious than simply breaking in.

Re:Three Ring Circus! (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099483)

True, but the point is valid: had they physically broken into a store and walked off with a bunch of credit-card receipts, would they have received a similar sentence? Or is this just being blown out of proportion because it involves "the Internet"? On top of that, they actually managed to steal nothing ... as the prosecutor said, it was the amount of damage they could have imposed that resulted in the "substantial sentence", not what they actually did. So, in other words, these guys are having a larger book thrown at them than they probably deserve simply because the government would like to make an example of them. Is that a good thing? Perhaps ... but it does indicate that the punishment may not be fitting the crime any too well. That is wrong in and of itself, but has always been the pattern of law enforcement regarding white-collar computer crimes. I suppose that there is a genuine desire to create a deterrent effect (ineffectual as it has been), but there is often an equally genuine ignorance of technological issues by law enforcement.

Three Ring Circus!-Attempted Lenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099584)

"True, but the point is valid: had they physically broken into a store and walked off with a bunch of credit-card receipts, would they have received a similar sentence?"

1-How many receipts can you physically walk away with?

2-As everyone is so fond of pointing out. Digital changes the rules.

Buggy whip sentences for everyone.

"Or is this just being blown out of proportion because it involves "the Internet"? On top of that, they actually managed to steal nothing ... as the prosecutor said, it was the amount of damage they could have imposed that resulted in the "substantial sentence", not what they actually did"

Not any different a concept than "attempted murder".

Re:Three Ring Circus! (1)

Mazem (789015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099458)

Although it isn't very clear from TA, I imagine that the majority of the 9 year sentence was simply for attempted credit card fraud. Cracking was just the method, not the main crime.

they got the wrong guy (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099309)

They should lock up the fool that set their network up!

If a person can be convicted for war driving (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099311)

The an admin who sets up an unsecure wireless network should be convicted for stupidity.

Re:If a person can be convicted for war driving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099370)

Nice idea, but convicting for stupidity would see too many world leaders put in jail

Re:If a person can be convicted for war driving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099550)

And that would be a bad thing?

Re:If a person can be convicted for war driving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099609)

Yes, because I am one of them!

Re:If a person can be convicted for war driving (1)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099585)

The an admin who sets up an unsecure wireless network should be convicted for stupidity.
I take it you've never gone wardriving before.

Wardriving... (4, Insightful)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099318)

Wardrivers like that give the wardriving community a bad name. Some wardrivers just want to find free and legal hotspots, and others (although they could have good intentions) just want a free net connection. Wardriving as a cheap way to access corporate networks is just bad taste...

GOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099320)

I hope you rot in jail

This begs the question... (2, Insightful)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099321)

including one of the first people to ever be convicted of wardriving.

Can you be really convicted of wardriving, or just something you do illegally while you're wardriving?

According to the wikipedia article in the blurb:
Although acessing the files on an open network is illegal, it is not illegal to simply use the internet connection of an open wireless network, this is a common misunderstood concept. Most wardrivers do not in fact use services without authorization.

Seems kind of like saying, "He was convicted for using the Internet" when someone gets convicted of cracking.

Another thing...so you can use the connection, but you can't use any files? What's the justification for that? If you leave the network open and allow it to be used and you leave files open on it, how can it be illegal to use them?

It doesn't beg the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099405)

Don't you read Slashdot? Don't you know what happens when you use this phrase incorrectly?

Re:It doesn't beg the question (1)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099446)

I have actually...I'm more of the position that language is living and that if everyone says something, that's what it means. Language is intended to communicate, and even if something doesn't fall in the rigid confines of Standard American English or whatever, then it's achieving its goal.

Even though 'lol' isn't in the dictionary, I still use it from time to time.

Wardriving is illegal? (4, Insightful)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099330)

Since when is wardriving illegal?

Re:Wardriving is illegal? (1)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099359)

As I said in my post above: [slashdot.org]
From wikipedia:

Although acessing the files on an open network is illegal, it is not illegal to simply use the internet connection of an open wireless network, this is a common misunderstood concept. Most wardrivers do not in fact use services without authorization.

Re:Wardriving is illegal? (1)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099398)

Yeah, stupid rate limiter made your post come up before mine. I'm just waiting for the -1 Redundant now ....

Re:Wardriving is illegal? (1)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099540)

Yeah, stupid rate limiter made your post come up before mine. I'm just waiting for the -1 Redundant now ....
That's not always the case. If a moderator has his setting to read "Newest First", then the moderator will see your post first. I've had a few posts moderated as redundant because I was the first one to make an obvious comment.

Re:Wardriving is illegal? (1)

tetranitrate (798753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099503)

It seems to me if you are going to broadcast information, via public airwaves through a wireless router, then that data is public information. Maybe even sending data to that same base station is legal (as those devices must accept "interference", even that which may be deemed harmful. The problem is when you actually start breaking into corporate networks, or accessing resources on private property. So I don't see wardriving as being inherently illegal, it depends on how you go about it and how far you go that determines what other laws you break (in this case probably related to cracking and credit card fraud).

Re:Wardriving is illegal? (1)

khromatikos (839805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099570)

However In the USA, it is illegal to listen to cellphones and cordless phones which are also using the "public" radio spectrum. This is also extened to: -intercepting encrypted communication -use information heard for profitable gain -use information to commit a crime and this case of wardriving does fall under this category.

Misleading (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099332)

This had very little to do with wardriving other then the fact that is how they found the network.
Instead this has to do with them trying to defraud a company.

Personal financial information wants to be free (4, Funny)

The Illegal Pirates (840709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099337)

Dear Sir or Madam:

We, the Illegal Pirates of the Internet Who Must Steal Everything No Matter What, rue the travesty that has lead to the sentencing of our compatriots. We remain dedicated to the theft and infringement of all intellectual property at all costs, including but not limited to financial records and credit card numbers. Rest assured, we will continue our relentless campaign to thieve.

Signed,

The Illegal Pirates of the Internet Who Must Steal Everything No Matter What

p.s. clock!

Re:Personal financial information wants to be free (1)

gblues (90260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099438)

We are the Pirates Who Must Steal Everything
We just go online and leech it all
And if you ask us why we steal everything
We'll just tell you--we must steal everything!

[apologies to Big Idea/VeggieTales]

Nathan

cracker, not hacker (-1, Redundant)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099339)

That's a cracker, not a hacker.

Re:cracker, not hacker (1)

Dead Kitty (840757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099480)

What exactly did he crack? I would rather go with "none of the above." He found an open wireless network and connected to it. No displayal of computing skills whatsoever. But I'm not implying being a scriptKiddie/cracker requires skill either.

This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't work. (4, Interesting)

An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099340)

While I think sentences (including this one) in the United States are excessive, and I think prison in fact fails to solve anything because it is used as a punishment rather than a rehabilitation and in fact makes people worse rather than better, I sort of rankle at this person being compared to Kevin Mitnick.

Kevin had no interest in any sort of financial gain from his activities. He was only interested in exploring and seeing what he could find. He was an annoying guy, but not one with ill intention.

I don't know the details about these individuals, but it seems to be implied that it was a moneymaking operation. That makes it far worse than anything Kevin did.

That said, prison isn't the answer. Only violent people should go to prison (and those prisons should be run such that they don't create the atmosphere for violence inside that they do today -- i.e. don't use the prisoners as an unwritten "punishment" against eachother -- punishment is counterproductive.)

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099400)

Prison isn't the answer, and I doubt the authorities would insist on putting everyone convicted of wannabe-haxxing in prison. It's costly and admittedly harsh, but this is just another example of them trying to use scare tactics to scare others into realizing that yes, if you do this shit you _can_ get your ass put in a (federal?) pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (3, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099437)

If you live in a country where revenge prevails then prison is the answer.

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099461)

Punishment isn't necessarily counter-productive. After the crime is committed, this may be the case. But there's also a small thing called deterrent.

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (2, Insightful)

ender81b (520454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099465)

Well they did get 9 years and kevin got 5 (and kevin got out in like 3 didn't he?) so intenet was considered in the case obviously.

Yes punishments are harsh in the US and there's a good reason for this For one, people like vengence. Oh boy do they like vengence. For another, throwing tougher and tougher laws on the books doesn't piss anybody off. Won't you think of the CHILDREN? 3 strikes your out laws, etc, etc all appeal to about 70% of the population - namely the middle class and the rich (those who vote).

Wait, what about criminals? Chances are people in jail, or those who are affected by these laws, are politically disenfranchised, have never voted and will never vote. In other words, the poor. Mmmm democracy in action! Of course, there is a large section of the US that seems to be getting fed up with certain laws (like drug laws) because they were drug users, and are now middle class, etc and believe the drug penalties to be ridiculous.I do believe New York just overturned some of the toughest drug laws in the country that were originally passed in the 1970s. That and people seem to be getting more and more upset that something ridiculous like 3% of our population has been in Jail during their lives.

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099485)

Oh come on mods.

While I think sentences (including this one) in the United States are excessive, and I think prison in fact fails to solve anything because it is used as a punishment rather than a rehabilitation and in fact makes people worse rather than better...

Wow. What a controversial view!

I sort of rankle at this person being compared to Kevin Mitnick.

I don't know the details about these individuals, but it seems to be implied that it was a moneymaking operation. That makes it far worse than anything Kevin did.

Ok, you say the poster is wrong to compare this person to Mitnick, but you know NOTHING about the person except what the poster said?

That said, prison isn't the answer. Only violent people should go to prison (and those prisons should be run such that they don't create the atmosphere for violence inside that they do today -- i.e. don't use the prisoners as an unwritten "punishment" against eachother -- punishment is counterproductive.)

Please, enlighten us on how you would implement, pay for, and manage such a system. It sounds great!

Re:prison doesn't work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099521)

Indeed, you are more correct than you know. I have been to prison, and I too was involved in a case which was played up for maximum publicity ( which served to benefit the US Attorney, who was planning on running for a judgeship).

The methods which they used to "win" the case were over-the-top in a most amazing sense, and involved creation of false evidence and outright lying by ( paid ) government witnesses.
I intend to write a book about it once I am safely out of Amerika.

I've done my time, and it's behind me, but I have zero faith in the criminal justice system in the US, and I intend to leave the US
for a country which has a system which doesn't allow the perversion of justice to such a large degree.

You may think my opinions are rooted in bitterness, but actually I have no qualms about having been punished. Where I have (large) objections is the dishonest and ruthless methods which were used to ensure that the prosecution "won" in the biggesst way possible. That is a travesty of justice, friends, and the people responsible will hopefully burn in hell.

The adversarial system, combined with the federal sentencing guidelines, makes this country a pretty scary place to live, when you are aware of what can happen. Of course, usually awareness comes simultaneously with trouble, and then it's too late.

Anyone who thinks it can't possibly be more fair and reasonable in other countries simply doesn't know much about the rest of the world, and also has a view of the US court system which is not grounded in reality.

I'd like to post my email address, so I can share my experiences with others who might be curious, but frankly I am afraid to.

Happy Holidays to all, and be damned careful out there, because things in the US are weird and getting weirder.

Re:This isn't like Mitnick, and prison doesn't wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099611)

"I think prison in fact fails to solve anything because it is used as a punishment rather than a rehabilitation..."

I would like to commit a crime against you. You can "rehab" me all you want after I'm caught, I won't mind.

What goes around comes around (5, Funny)

upsidedown_duck (788782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099351)


I bet he isn't looking forward to having his security hole exploited while in prison!

Re:What goes around comes around (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099509)

Yes, that will be accomplished using the well-known "Bubba overflow" exploit.

Re:What goes around comes around (1)

freakmn (712872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099590)

You think they have one of these [thinkgeek.com] in his size? Might clear up a few things... Either that, or he might have trouble with another exploit...

A plea to the Slashdot population (4, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099360)

Let me make a few preemptive arguments before the inevitable "Free Kevin"-esque posts start coming by the hundreds.

This guy is a criminal. He robbed people, or attempted to rob them. This is like robbing a bank, only worse. Nobody should show any sympathy for this guy. In fact, for the identity theft and fraud he commited, nine years is much too short of a sentence.

I know that a lot of the people who read this may tend to sympathize with him. This is the nature of /.ers. For proof, look no further than the topic which this is posted under.

That's right, "Your Rights Online." Some editors or submitters apparently think that we have the online right to attempt to steal the property of other people, which if you think about for a minute is absurd.
The reason a lot of /.ers want to sympathize with this guy is the fact that a lot of them are (good) hackers. No matter how dirty his actions were, they don't want to see a fellow hacker put in prison.

But please, think before you post inane things about how our legal system is evil and corrupt. This is good. Thank God for the law.

Re:A plea to the Slashdot population (4, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099484)

He robbed people, or attempted to rob them. This is like robbing a bank, only worse.

Attempting to steal credit cards electronically (and failing) is worse than robbing a bank? By what value system are you making this judgement?

I don't sympathize with him, but I would like to see him get the same sentence as someone who attempted to steal credit cards in meatspace. The fact that electrons were involved does not change the crime and should not change the punishment. I bet it wouldn't be higher than someone who in fact DID commit rape (as this sentence is)

Finkployd

Re:A plea to the Slashdot population (2, Insightful)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099516)

Well, <pendant> robbery [reference.com] involves violence, or the threat of violence. </pendant>

I'd say that it's not just like robbing a bank, only worse.

That doesn't mean I think the sentence is unfair.

The article isn't clear... (0, Troll)

Starbreeze (209787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099366)

So Lowe's is guilty of not securing their network. That's like leaving your front door wide open and wondering why a burglar wandered in. Yes, the hacker deserves punished for intent to steal, but that long of a sentence?

Re:The article isn't clear... (0, Offtopic)

SuperIceBoy (787273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099469)

That's like leaving your front door wide open and wondering why a burglar wandered in.

If I leave my front door open and some theif comes and steals my property, that person has still committed a crime whether my door was locked or unlocked.

Re:The article isn't clear... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099556)

Yes, but in this case they didn't actually steal anything, although that was probably their intent. This is really more akin to some thief entering your foolishly unlocked home, disabling the lock so he can get back in whenever he wants, and then leaving without taking anything. Yes, he probably wanted to be able to steal things from you whenever he wished, but at that point he hadn't yet.

Trespassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099373)

If they forcibly broke into the network, I can understand the charges. But if the network, like many wireless access points, had no password, shouldn't they be charged with trespassing? I'm sure installing the logging software they used also violates many privacy laws, even if they didn't utilize the data it collected.

Plea agreement (3, Interesting)

sekicho (570184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099392)

Security Focus [securityfocus.com] :
Even reduced, Salcedo's prison term is unusually harsh for a computer crime. The sentence is based largely on a stipulation in Salcedo's plea agreement with prosecutors that the losses in the abortive caper would have exceeded $2.5 million. "The damage that Mr. Salcedo could have caused the consumers if he was successful could have been astounding," says prosecutor Martens.


Salcedo's defense attorney, Samuel Winthrop, did not return phone calls.
If I were that attorney, I wouldn't be returning phone calls, either.

Re:Plea agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099476)

WRONG! This guy should talk to every news outlet he can and try to get 15 seconds on a news channel. Experience is still experience even if you lose the case. He has opportunities not just crim def, but corp consulting on their wireless security/agreements.

"Your rights online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099397)

I don't think so.

samzenpus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099402)

Who the hell adds "pus" to his nym?

pus n.
Etymology: Latin pur-, pus -- more at FOUL
: thick opaque usually yellowish white fluid matter formed by suppuration and composed of exudate containing white blood cells, tissue debris, and microorganisms

Great news (1)

utlemming (654269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099403)

As the global economy relies more and more on computers to conduct comerce, I for one am glad that computer crimes are being treated quite seriously. Just because it is a computer, and just because there was no physical harm to someone, doesn't mean that the crime is not a damaging crime. And with the concerns running about for identity theft, the sentence seems appropriate. It should go out for a warning: if you want to hack others computers, then you should set up your own LAN and only hack computers that you have permission to hack. And to the arguments that they just trying to collect passwords: what good is a password if you don't plan on doing anything with it. Snooping around someone elses computer is the electronic equivalent to voyeurism. It constitutes an invasion of privacy. Those with the know-how to hack have an ethical responsability to refrain from hacking, and those that hack should be held to the same standard of other white-collar crimes. Severe economic consquences can follow unauthorized hacking. Now if there is permission for the hacking to take place, that is one story. But to hack some computer system for kicks and giggles is wrong.

Re:Great news (1)

PopCulture (536272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099574)

As the global economy relies more and more on computers to conduct comerce, I for one am glad that computer crimes are being treated quite seriously.

Well, if only "people" decided to take network admin security anywhere near as seriously we'd be in good shape, no? Running a major e-commerce chain over unsecured wireless. wtf.

(By the way, there have been something like 4 cybersecurity czars over the past 5 years in the US... they keep stepping down 'cause no one takes them seriously.)

Just because it is a computer, and just because there was no physical harm to someone, doesn't mean that the crime is not a damaging crime. And with the concerns running about for identity theft, the sentence seems appropriate.

This guy got about (if not more than) the average rapist or murder gets. If you think the headache of taking your credit seriously, checking it for inconsistencies often (as you should be doing anyways, identity theft or not- mistakes are made)and dealing with rude phone calls from mistaken debt collectors is anywhere near as bad as losing your life or getting physically raped, then you need a SERIOUS reality check.

I mean jesus, look at the total and complete financial consequences of the Enron gang, Martha Stuart et all (including the lessening public trust of investing your money) and try to tell me this loser and his packet sniffing dumbass should be in a federal pm in the a prison for NINE YEARS.

Does the sentence really fit the crime? (5, Insightful)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099407)

A bit of common sense here - 9 *years* for hacking. That is higher than the average federal sentence for murder http://www.law.upenn.edu/fac/phrobins/OxfordDeterr enceAppendix.pdf [upenn.edu] although lower than the average state one.

Re:Does the sentence really fit the crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099517)

My thoughts exactly.

The 8th amendment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

9 years is rediculous.

Re:Does the sentence really fit the crime? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099573)

That is an unfortunate consequence of the justice department giving out plea bargains to everyone for the sole purpose of getting the trials over quicker.

So they didn't steal credit card information? (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099411)

I'm sorry, but does anyone else find this silly? You can get a longer sentence for hacking than you can for a rape!
And they didn't even get any credit card information..

I mean if they broke in and took down the entire corp. network or put the company into administration then yeah sure, harsh it up...
But where is the justification for a 9year sentence?

Also, if you trespassed (into the office) and tried to steal a book of credit card information and let's add criminal damage (broken window) you would not get near five years let alone 9!

Not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099445)

Crimes against people (rape) are not considered here as significant or worrisome as crimes against property (hacking) or crimes against society. Welcome to America.

Re:So they didn't steal credit card information? (1)

UnpopularOpinion (839794) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099541)

From the article:

"I think the massive amount of potential loss that these defendants could have imposed was astounding, so that's what caused us to seek a substantial sentence against Mr. Salcedo," federal prosecutor Matthew Martens said.

If you trespassed into an office and tried to steal a book of credit card information, then it would have to be a pretty huge book to compare in scale to this case. The amount of damage really could have been massive. Hence the tougher sentence.

I don't think the sentence was given for 'hacking' per se.

Also, the fact that they didn't succeed is not at all relevant.

In other news.... (2, Funny)

barks (640793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099427)

...other white collar crimes will not be prosecuted as they won't recieve much media attention to propagate to young eager script kiddies the scary consequences of making network adminstrators look bad.

9 years for hacking, 20 years for smoking pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099435)

While I'll agree that the 9 years for hacking might be excessive given the extent of the crime, it is sad that something like this creates an outrage when compared to the kinds of sentences handed out for possession of marijuana.

quick (2, Funny)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099464)

let's protect them!

No data was actually collected however (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099487)

Only because they were discovered/arrested before the data could be collected. Good riddance. Commence to toss salad.

Enron? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099491)

How many years did the guys at Enron etc.... get?
Seems like you get of if you you cough up government payola.

The penalty for hacking is equivilant to murder? (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099501)

The max penalty for invouluntary manslaughter is 9 years in prison - todays front page of my local newspaper actually describes such a case. And this guy who was caught trying stealing credit card information gets an equivilant sentence? Isn't that a little severe? I'm all for punishing criminals and using long sentences as a way to pursued other would be criminals against commiting crimes however this is a little silly.

Cracker != Hacker (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099506)

This guys was not a hacker. He was a cracker. A criminal hacker. I'm sick of this public misconception. Whenever I talk about software to non tech people and I mention hackers, and the good work they do, people automatically assume I'm talking about some uber geek, crypto cyber punk, virus writing, terrorist whos out to gain control of as many nukes as he can before he downloads copious amounts of porn into their bank accounts.

Seriously, where the hell did this misconception arise from? It's tempting to blame hollywood, but it's more likely to have been some self proclaimed "landmark" NY Times article written by some clueless reporter who knew next to nothing about computer or the net in general outside of what some equally misinformed 133t script kiddies spluttered out to him when he asked them on IRC( The devils internet dungeon!!).

This misnomer of hackers used in the media at large has got to be tackled somehow. Otherwise other FUD might creep in, and pretty soon FOSS apps might be classed as warez by another bumbling journalist looking to rise ranks by jumping for the businees pages to the spanking new IT suppliment section by writing the next domesday tech article, complete with teenage (cr/h)acker masterminds.

Re:Cracker != Hacker (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099542)

This guys was not a hacker. He was a cracker.

Oh shut up and get over yourself already. This stupid argument has been raging for twenty years. Forget about it - you lost. Now go get a life.

Crime equals time? (1)

pherris (314792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099536)

I'll bet that Ken Lay of Enron, who stole billions of dollars from millions of CA residents won't do half that time.

Stealing CC numbers is a bad thing and needs to be punished but let's face it, in the US we have a criminal injustice system that favors rich, white people who steal large amounts of money and have access to lots of lawyers. Everyone else gets caught up in the great meat grinder of "justice".

Check out: frontline: the plea [pbs.org]

In addition to the prison time.... (1)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099544)

Do you think the crackers will also be prohibited from using the Internet for a certain period of time after their release, sort of like what happened to Mitnick?

The system is F**ked! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11099575)

ok for my 2 cents i would like to point out:

A.) These guys were a bunch of d00ch bags and need a nice punishment for such n00bish ways of hacking.

B.) These as already stated are not hackers! i can not stress how mad i get to see the term hacker used to exploit people that want to learn about everything and anything! Look the term hacker up then look the word cracker up. Also these type of idiots are aka n00bs, skipt kiddies, etc.

C.) Lets see national debt and how to help it out? hmm lets throw the book at anyone that makes a felonie instead of finding less wastefull ways around it. I cant wait to see the thread for the first hacker procecuted and sentenced to capital punishment for something so obsered.

D.) I am not sympathyzing with these guys but unless they have evidence that it was indeed a program that would capture credit information and they wernt doing it to get passwords or anything else they how can they sentence them with out the system being currupt from the inside? I want evidence and until i see pure evidence that they were trying to steal sensitive information to do things such as fraud, theft etc then i will sympathyz with them.

These guys actully live pretty close to me. Weird i never heard of this until now. I should write jacksonville prison and get a new penpal. Whos with me?

though... (2, Interesting)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099594)

"No data was actually collected however."

So the actual crime was breaking and entering, with intent for theft and he got 9 years..

Recently in Australia the head of an insurance company HiH defrauded millions of Australians, which lead to the closure of HIH. One of the people involved got a suspended sentence the other got two years, the CEO is yet to be charged but will probably get the same.
(USA, replace HIH with Enron)

If i commit one case of first degree fraud, i can get up to 20 years in jail.

If I'm a CEO defrauding millions of people for my own personal gain i get a suspended sentence..

Thats our great judicial system for you.

Why IT folks should support severe sentences (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11099601)

Some may argue that the punishment does not fit the crime, that it is much more severe then other forms of monetary crime. But what makes cracker crime so dangerous to the IT industry is that it attacks the trustworthiness of the infrastructure. If consumers turn away from online transactions, if businesses decide to reduce their reliance on computers, then IT employment will drop or not increase to its full potential.

Look at the analog of this in meat-space -- people would rather shop, go to work, enjoy entertainment, etc. in a safe environment. Businesses that try to operate in crime-ridden neighborhoods don't do as well, don't have as many customers, don't hire as many employees, and don't pay as well.

IT employment depends on the continued adoption and use of IT by businesses and consumers. If the internet and computing becomes a ghetto of spyware, crackers, and phishers, the economics of IT will suffer. To the extent that people avoid using computers for fear of crime is the extent that ITer will see their jobs disappear.
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