...While Hackers Attack

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Government entities, especially, know that anything that goes onto a Web site is fair game for hacker attack, either as a joke, to express a fit of political umbrage or to show off by exposing a weakness. Last Wednesday, 22-year-old Benjamin Stark pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., to charges of hacking into eleven mostly governmental computer networks ... one of which was the FAA's. Stark and his partner in crime would find security flaws and instead of bringing them to the attention (quietly) of the agency or business, would adorn the site with an American flag, two handguns and the message "Tighten the security before a foreign attack forces you to." At the FAA, the target was a server with information about passenger screening at airports. The hackers managed to access from that server personal passport and social security information, which, like hackers will do, they then posted. In addition to all the not-for-profit hacking, Stark, according to a British Web site, The Register, also trafficked in stolen credit-card numbers. He was caught when he reportedly sold 447 of the stolen numbers to an undercover FBI agent for $250. Stark faces a likely prison term of 24 to 30 months.