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Guilty MSA Hackers Arraigned

On October 24, 2007, two students of Michigan University were found guilty of their bold attempt in 2006 of damaging the opposition student political party's Website during elections for MSA (Michigan Student Assembly).

The two convicts, Joel Schweitzer 21, and Anton Vuljaj 20, are charged of interfering with an electronic communication device (a high court crime that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and two years imprisonment), and using a PC to conduct a crime (a misdemeanor which carries fine of around $5,000 and four years imprisonment).

Spokeswoman for U-M's Department of Public Safety, Diane Brown, said that Schweitzer and Vuljaj are found guilty of introducing an automated Denial of Service (DoS) attack through which, the server gets overloaded so that no one else could see the Michigan Progressive Party Website, as published by DETnews on October 25, 2007.

Generally, in a DoS attack, a hacker uses a program to send request, perhaps as many as 1,000 per second, to install a file from an attacked Website, rendering it inoperable.

In the elections, the students gave out their vote online. In 2006 (spring), as the students were giving their votes online, Michigan Progressive Party's site was temporarily shut down, and the students who were monitoring it discover that the attack was coming from a computer cluster in a residence hall in North Campus.

When the election got finished, Nicole Stallings, the Students 4 Michigan candidate, won the MSA's presidency.

Shockingly, later Robbie O'Brien, the Chairman of the Students 4 Michigan party, quitted his and apologized in a letter to the newspaper of the campus. As per Robbie, one of the members of his party planned a premeditated attack without letting him know and the party did not encouraged the attack, as per the news by mLive on October 25, 2007.

Both the students were later released on the basis of personal recognizance, which clearly implies that they did not have to shed a single penny to stay out of the jail, but could definitely suffer severe penalties if they fail to turn up at their preliminary hearing.

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