Wired's Threat Level blog has broken a big story: The military has arrested an Army intelligence analyst for allegedly passing classified information to Wikileaks, a website specializing in whistleblower-type stories. Specifically, the analyst, a 22-year-old specialist, is suspected of sending a video of a helicopter attack that killed several civilians in Iraq. Wired says the case broke open after a former hacker contacted the military, saying the analyst had bragged about the leaks in an online discussion.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
In Minnesota, William Melchert-Dinkel -- a former nurse accused of going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves -- is free on his own recognizance as he awaits trial. The judge, however, did order him to stay off the Internet until then.
A man from Grand Island, Neb., has been sentenced to one year in federal prison for a cyber attack on Church of Scientology websites. He'll also be required to pay $20,000 restitution and do a year on supervised release. The judge said the attack had "a sense of hate crime," the AP reports.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Steven E. Mikoloyck was one of seven men prosecuted after answering an ad placed on Craigslist by police posing as pimps and offering underage girls for sex.
| Sara Shepherd
Monday, May 03, 2010
Verisign, an Internet security company, says that cyberthieves are starting to sell large bundles of Facebook accounts. A bundle of 1,000 accounts costs about $25 if the accounts have 10 friends or less, $45 if they have more.
Friday, April 30, 2010
In Knoxville, a jury has found a 22-year-old guilty in the reported theft of Sarah Palin's email. David C. Kernell was found guilty of "felony destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation and misdemeanor unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer," the News Sentinel reports. He was acquitted of felony wire fraud, and a mistrial was declared on the fourth charge because the jury deadlocked. From Palin's lawyer:
“I think the jury took its job very seriously and weighed the evidence closely and concluded that any effort to impact a national election through illegal means is not a college prank. It is a crime,” he said.
File Photo via AP
Thursday, April 29, 2010
In San Francisco, one of the city's former IT workers has been convicted for refusing to give his bosses the passwords to the city's network. He was afraid that he was going to be laid off, prosecutors said, and he was upset about them digging into his old robbery conviction. The defense, though, said he only refused to give out the passwords because he was "paranoid" about security, and they had called him on an unsecure line.
The jury found him guilty, the Chronicle reports, but they sympathized with him, too.
"Management did everything they possibly could wrong," Chilton said. "There was ineffective management, ineffective communication. I think that if they put the city on trial, they would be guilty, too."
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
In Knoxville, the son of a state legislator is on trial after he reportedly guessed Sarah Palin's email password and took screenshots of her account, which he then posted online. Prosecutors say the 20-year-old did it for political motives -- David Kernell is a Democrat, and this happened during the heart of the presidential campaign. His defense attorney, though, says it was nothing more than a prank.
It sounds like a useless distinction, but it could help the defense. (Assuming the jury buys it.) They're arguing that prosecutors charged Kernell with felonies simply because the case involves Sarah Palin. Instead, they say, Kernell should be charged with a misdemeanor. Palin is expected to testify during the trial.
File photo via AP
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We've seen a lot of cases involving sexting, where teenagers have faced criminal charges for sending naked photos of each other via email and cellphones. In Pennsylvania, school officials are being investigated by police. Parents complained that, while the school investigated their kids, the photos were shown to school officials who didn't need to see them.
“Of course, one or two people had to see the images to determine what they were,” Perry County District Attorney Charles Chenot said. “But if more than one or two top administrators saw them, there better be a good reason why.”
Monday, March 29, 2010
A 15-year-old girl named Phoebe Prince killed herself on Jan. 14 after what authorities in Northampton, Mass., describe as months of bullying, stalking and harassment. Now, prosecutors say that nine teens have been indicted in connection with the suicide. No charges for the school officials, though they were aware that Prince was being harassed, the AP says. If you feel the charges are overkill, then you need to read this piece from the Boston Globe about the case, written a few days after Prince died:
Ten days ago, Phoebe was walking home from school when one of the Mean Girls drove by in a car. An insult and an energy drink can came flying out the car window in Phoebe’s direction.
Phoebe kept walking, past the abuse, past the can, past the white picket fence, into her house. Then she walked into a closet and hanged herself. Her 12-year-old sister found her.
You would think this would give the bullies who hounded Phoebe some pause. Instead, they went on Facebook and mocked her in death.
Prince was a native of Ireland who'd recently moved to the area. She apparently got on someone's bad side when she dated a senior football player. True Crime Report has an older post here.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
We landed at No. 23, according to Symantec. St. Louis was 33. They considered the number of viruses, attacks, etc., as well as how connected a city is -- how many wi-fi spots there are, how many broadband subscriptions, etc. Detroit was ranked the safest online city.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Over the last year, we've seen several cases where teens faced criminal charges for "sexting" -- sending naked photos, often of themselves, to a paramour. (Or their friends. Or the paramour's parents. Or the entire student body.) More states, though, don't think sexting should be treated as severely as child pornography because, a lot of times, the victim and the perpetrator are the same person in a sexting case. They've changed the law so that, if there are charges, they're handled in juvenile court and the punishment is less severe -- that way, a teen doesn't end up on a sex-offender list.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the federal government to get a DOJ document showing that law-enforcement agents are using social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to catch criminals. Sometimes, it's pretty straightforward -- the agents will check the times of posts to see if they correspond with alibis. Or the suspects will share photos of themselves posing with stolen goods, etc.
Agents will also create fake profiles and use them to "friend" suspects. Or they'll reach out to suspects' friends, family, etc. Which isn't too different from real life, but experts say there should be boundaries. And they raise a question ...
The Justice Department document raises a legal question about a social-media bullying case in which U.S. prosecutors charged a Missouri woman with computer fraud for creating a fake MySpace account — effectively the same activity that undercover agents are doing, although for different purposes.
Hat Tip: Many thanks, Keith G in PV!
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Monday, March 15, 2010
The dollar loss was about $559.7 million, compared to $264.6 million in 2008, the Internet Crime Complaint Center reports. One of the biggest sources of complaints involved scams where con artists posed as the FBI to get average citizens' information. This is among the reported complaints, though -- experts think the problem is a lot worse than what's officially recorded.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, is expected in Chattanooga next month to testify in the case of David C. Kernell. The college student allegedly accessed Palin's email account and posted the password online for others to find. His attorney says the charge should be nothing more than a misdemeanor but is being blown up because Palin is famous.
File photo via AP
Thursday, March 11, 2010
A Massachusetts man, Trevor L. Lucas, is accused of driving to Madison, Wis., and threatening a 16-year-old boy who refused to email Lucas naked photos of himself.
The two of them had met online while playing "World of Warcraft." After the boy decided they weren't the "share naked photos" kind of friends, he tried to ignore Lucas, police said. Which allegedly infuriated Lucas, who claimed to have spent money on the boy in the game. He demanded repayment and threatened to beat up the kid in person, the authorities allege.
Police say he tried to carry out the threat by showing up at his house and pulling a gun on the kid's mom. Lucas was later arrested in Boston, where he was caught with four handguns, some knives, stun guns and handcuffs, the Wisconsin State Journal said.
As you've probably noted, some of the men indicted in the U.S. attorney's online gambling probe were sons or grandsons of former Kansas City mob figures. Does this mean the mob is undergoing a revival here? Mark Morris talked to local experts who said "meh."
“All of the assets that made the mob what it was — the Teamsters union, political connections and ties to other families — are all gone,” Ouseley said. “Whatever’s left doesn’t have access to the power sources that the Civella group had.”
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Vincent F. Civella, 53, is the sixth local man to plead guilty to participating in an online gambling operation, the U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri reports. The KC guys would give clients a 1-800 number and a Web site where they could place bets. An office in Costa Rica handled the back end. Then the KC guys would pay out or collect in person.
Civella says he was part of the operation from March 2006 to March 2009. He made about $40,000 off the operation, which he'll now hand over to the government. Sentencing hasn't been scheduled yet, but he could get up to five years without parole, plus a $250,000 fine.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Remember E-Verify? It's a government database where businesses can check potential hires to see if they're in the country legally. (In Arizona, all employers have to use it.) But a new study says that E-Verify failed to catch over half of the illegal immigrants who were processed because they used stolen identities, the Arizona Republic reports.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
William D. Cammisano Jr., 60, of Harrisonville, has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that he participated in an online gambling operation. He's the fifth person here in the Kansas City area to plead. The feds say that Cammisano and others would give a 1-800 number and a Web site address based in Costa Rica to potential bettors, who would place bets online. Then Cammisano and others would collect debts or pay out in person.Mark Morris has more background:
In 1988, the FBI identified Cammisano as a lieutenant in Kansas City’s outfit. At the time, the bureau also identified his father, known as “Willie the Rat,” as the city’s top mob leader at the time.
In 1989, a federal jury convicted Cammisano of obstruction of justice, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. A judge later trimmed two years off that sentence after an appeals court ruled that prosecutors had not presented enough evidence of his alleged organized crime activities to justify the higher sentence.
In September 1994, his federal conviction prompted the Missouri Gaming Commission to ban Cammisano from the state’s casinos.
Fighting that exclusion, Cammisano denied any connection to organized crime and praised his father as “a great man.”
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Today, it's Michael C. Sansone, 30, and Anthony V. Sansone, 27, who pleaded guilty in federal court to acting as bookies for an online gambling operation. (The Sansones are brothers.) According to prosecutors, the Sansones would give clients a 1-800 number and a Web site, both based in Costa Rica, where they could place bets. The Sansones would then do collections or payouts in person.
These are the third and fourth pleas in this investigation. The previous one was yesterday, actually.
From Meredith: Roeland Park police are investigating alleged cyberbullying by peers against a seventh-grade student at St. Agnes School.
Deputy Police Chief John Morris said the case allegedly involved a social networking site. Results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Johnson County district attorney’s office, which will decide whether a crime was committed.
Even if the students do not face criminal charges, the school is taking the matter seriously and will address it with the students allegedly involved, said Kathleen O’Hara, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Charles J. Simone, 24, of Liberty, pleaded guilty today in federal court for his part in an online gambling operation. How it worked: Simone gave his clients a 1-800 number and a Web site where they could place bets. (The phone line and the site were both operated in Costa Rica.) Then Simone would do things the old-fashioned way and pay out or collect money in person.
The operation started up in 2006. Simone says he didn't get involved in late 2008, and his involvement ended in spring 2009. He's the second guy to plead to being part of the gambling ring; the other was Michael V. Badalucco, 26.
Longtime readers will recall the feds have been fishing around this particular pond for a few months now. Mark Morris says 10 people, by one count, have been jailed over the past several months for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating online gambling.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Michael Barrett, the man who pleaded guilty to secretly taping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in the nude, is also accused of taping 16 other women, court records state. Barrett is due to be sentenced next month, and prosecutors are asking for 27 months. Andrews says he needs to do more time.