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A 19-year-old student at Drexel University in Pennsylvania is being charged by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) of fraud and identity theft for hacking into someone's investment account and making a complex and illegal trade. The student is accused of using a program called the Beast to monitor every keystroke typed on the target machine, and by doing so was able to obtain the log-in and password for the investor's online brokerage account with TD Waterhouse. (New York Times 10 Oct 2003)

More on this story at http://partners.nytimes.com/2003/10/10/business/10HACK.html

Lovelorn Hacker Shuts Down Port of Houston in Bid to Get Revenge on Chat Room Lady

A lovelorn computer hacker launched an attack on America's busiest port in a bid to seek revenge on a fellow chatroom user, a court has heard.

Aaron Caffrey, 19, brought computer systems to a halt at the port of Houston, in Texas, in what police believe to be the first electronic attack to disable a critical part of a country's national infrastructure.

Prosecutor Paul Addison told a jury at Southwark Crown Court that Caffrey's intended target was a female chatroom user called Bokkie whom he had argued with over anti-American remarks she had made.

The court was told Caffrey, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, was deeply in love with an American girl called Jessica at the time. Caffrey was said to be so obsessed with Jessica that he named his computer after her and dedicated part of his attack script to her.

More on this story at http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_826373.html?menu=news.technology

Carolyn's note: Caffrey was ruled innocent of the crime a few days later. See http://news.com.com/2102-7349_3-5092781.html?tag=st_util_print

Lamo and Your Senseless Comment
Date: 2003-09-26 13:45
From: "Hoshizle" <gratefuldead866@hotmail.com>

Hi there Carolyn,
I was just emailing you because i saw a very thoughtless comment you wrote on the site. Its under the Busted section where you have a small blurb on Lamo getting released on 250,000 dollars bond. You may remember this comment.

Carolyn's note: Lamo homeless? His parents are taking care of him now? Sounds like this hacker needs to get a life.

Ive been an avid reader of your site ever since i discovered it years ago, and to read this stupid comment p***ed me off. Come on, its probably a court order that decided he was going to his parents house. I mean he did make bond and the feds want him to be at a place where they can keep tabs on him. Where better than the parents house. Saying that this hacker needs to get a life is pointless. Actually surrendering yourself to the feds must be the hardest thing someone can do. *****,.....you of all people i thought would have thought the same thing. I just personally wanted to say i thought your comment about Lamo was down right arrogant. Im eager to hear your response.
(Avid reader since 1998)

Carolyn replies: I'm not sure what to say, but I'll try. First, I've been a LOT kinder than other journalists. For example, see what George Smith has to say: "...crushing vanity comes before a fall. And at some point in the distant past, the story of the wandering good-hearted young bum [Lamo] drawing attention to the computer security lapses of bloated sitting-duck corporations went from being quaint to an exercise in psychosis. He couldn't fix the nation's corporate security troubles, and he won't fix himself, so the FBI will attempt to fix him and everyone remotely connected." (Read more flames against Lamo at http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/189)

OK, here's my somewhat kinder, gentler take on Lamo. The man has been an adult for several years, managed to remain homeless, and broke the law frequently in what seems to me to be an arrogant manner. It is easy to turn oneself in to the Feds if one has spent years breaking the law and bragging to reporters about it. After all, he's confessed his crimes very publicly and quite often. What is the FBI supposed to do, keep on ignoring his confessions? Lamo has practically been shouting "I dare you to bust me" for many years. This, in my opinion, is the behavior of a seriously messed up personality. If he had a real life -- friends, a career, he would have politely advised webmasters of their problems instead of publicly humiliating them.

Now Lamo gets to find out what public humiliation is when he is on the receiving end. However, does he realize he's being humiliated? An ancient Greek saying is "The dog who has a dead chicken tied to his collar thinks he is famous." In the old days that is how one punished a dog for killing a chicken. But now and then some dog would think the attention was cool, and kill another chicken so he could get another stinky neckpiece. Guess what happened next? Hopefully Lamo won't be like one of those recidivist dogs.

More on busted hackers --->>

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