[ISN] NK man faces computer-hacking charges
isn at c4i.org
Wed Sep 1 13:27:01 EDT 2004
By Michael Hasch
Tribune-Review Media Service
and Chuck Biedka
September 1, 2004
NEW KENSINGTON -- A 21-year-old city man was accused Tuesday of being
a computer hacker responsible for stealing more than 2,000 credit card
numbers stored in the computer systems of businesses and corporations.
Michael Ray "Hairball" Wally, of the 400 block of 10th Street, is
charged with 42 counts of identity theft and 247 various counts of
using a computer in a crime, police said.
Wally is accused of posting the stolen credit card numbers on his
Internet Web site, HBX Networks , so that other people could use
them to gain access to various Internet sites and other network
components, according to Trooper Robert Erdely of the Area III State
Police computer crimes task force.
Some of the stolen numbers also were used to purchase goods and
services, state police said.
Erdely said he is still compiling data to determine how much was
charged to the credit cards.
New Kensington Detective Sgt. Tom Klawinski, who also is part of a
regional computer task force, said the investigation is continuing and
additional arrests are possible.
Wally's Web site bills itself as "a nonprofit organization with many
goals," including documenting flaws and inadequacies of computer
security systems and the ease with which they can be compromised.
The Web site details how Wally used a system called "war dialing" to
access the computer networks of businesses and corporations.
"War dialing" is basically the sequential dialing of various numbers
until the right sequence comes up to gain access to a computer
Erdely said a search warrant was executed at the HBX office on May 14
and that the analysis of 15 computers seized at that time form the
basis of the charges filed.
More computers were seized Tuesday and additional charges could be
filed once those are analyzed.
Wally is charged with multiple counts of identity theft; unlawful use
of a computer to access other computers; using a computer to obtain
passwords, identifying codes, and personal identification numbers or
other confidential information from other computers without
authorization of their owners; using a communication facility -- a
computer and telephone line -- to attempt a crime, and unlawful use of
a computer by obtaining information he did not have permission to
Pallone said Wally's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept 9.
Wally gained notoriety in 2002 when he created BurrellSucks.com, a Web
site that students from numerous school districts often used to air
Wally said at the time that the site was intended to give students a
chance to discuss school-related problems and potential solutions.
Earlier this year, Wally announced he wanted to create a similar site
on a much broader scale, although the site, schoolhigh.com, got little
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