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LexisNexis Hackers Apprehended

A Massachusetts hacker has been sentenced to prison for a year. The 20 years old culprit, Justin A Perras New Bedford's resident, was held for scheming to carry out a cyber fraud and ID theft. Perras is amongst the 5 defendants confessing to have hacked in to LexisNexis' systems. LexisNexis is the popular law database.

The hackers used a combination of social engineering tactics and malware for gaining unauthorized access to Accurint - the law-enforcement database. Seisint, LexisNexis' subsidiary maintains this database.

The hackers employed a Trojan horse for breaking in to the computer of Police Department of Port Orange. They collected personal information about a national database of crime fighting. However, they have been ordered to reimburse the money they charged for services.

The attack resulted in potential exposure of personal details of above 310, 000 people. It enabled the perpetrators to practice their interest in gossip about celebrities.

The filched login credentials of Accurint enabled the hackers to look-up police records as well as other data on several high profile celebrities. Amongst the targeted celebrities were Arnold Schwarzenegger - Governor of California, actors Demi Moore, Paris Hilton, and Laurence Fishburne.

It is good to see that the people will be impugned, said Lt. Frank Surmaczewicz in a statement that news-journalonline.com published on 8 March 2007. Frank oversees Port Orange's detective division. He was glad that his dept. would regain its US$1,905 share in database charges & computer security costs.

The infringement to the computer of Port Orange police took place during January-March 2005, showed the court records. Rhode Island's McKeage employed a program for hacking in to the computer and infecting it with a Trojan horse. After this, he made unauthorized access to the database account of the dept. for obtaining user names & passwords. The information was then used for creating new user names to access the database. The purloined information was later shared with others.

Other perpetrators were sent to prison in December 2006 for their involvement in this conspiracy. They were also ordered to compensate US$105,750 to LexisNexis. As per Sophos experts, following their crimes' discovery 5 defendants have been prohibited from using computers.

Post this spell behind-bars, Perras faces 3years-supervised release plus hundred hours of community service, directed the US District Court in Florida's West Palm Beach.

Related article: LexisNexis Agrees To Settlement With FTC

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