[ISN] Michigan hacker who tapped into hardware chain's computers gets 9 years

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Dec 16 02:02:36 EST 2004


December 15, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- One of three Michigan men who hacked into the 
national computer system of Lowe's hardware stores and tried to steal 
customers' credit card information was sentenced Wednesday to nine 
years in federal prison. 

The government said it is the longest prison term ever handed down in 
a computer crime case in the United States. 

Brian Salcedo of Whitmore Lake, Mich., pleaded guilty in August to 
conspiracy and other hacking charges. 

Salcedo's sentence, imposed by U.S. District Judge Lacy Thornburg, 
exceeds that given to the hacker Kevin Mitnick, who spent more than 5 
1/2 years behind bars, according to a Justice Department Web site that 
tracks cyber-crime prosecutions. 

"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. 

Two other men are awaiting sentencing in the Lowe's case. One of them, 
Adam Timmins, of Waterford Township, Mich., became one of the first 
people convicted of "wardriving," in which hackers go around with an 
antenna, searching for vulnerable wireless Internet connections. 

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. 

Lowe's officials said the men did not obtain any such information. 

The case was prosecuted in Charlotte because it is home to an FBI 
cyber-crime task force. 

Mitnick led the FBI on a three-year manhunt that ended in 1995 and is 
said to have cost companies millions of dollars by stealing their 
software and altering computer information. Victims included Motorola, 
Novell, Nokia and Sun Microsystems. 


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U.S. Justice Department computer intrusion cases: 

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