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Hacker Invading AOL Accounts for Phishing Got 7-year Jail

Michael Dolan, who had been hacking across AOL's network for many years, has admitted before prosecutors to committing identity theft and fraud. He therefore was given a sentence to serve federal prison for seven years.

Prosecutors said that 24-year old Dolan and his accomplices stole some $400,000 from 250 victims in a phishing rampage. However, Dolan says the catch amounted to only $43,000 from 50 victims. YahooTech reported this on August 15, 2008.

Michael Dolan and a gang of co-conspirators executed a scheme for four years from 2002 to 2006 whereby they first hacked into AOL chat rooms to capture usernames and then blasted those accounts with phishing e-mails.

Meanwhile, Dolan admitted guilt to executing the phishing scheme almost a year back in 2007. Prosecutors said that Dolan and co-conspirators made their way to infect several thousand computers of AOL users by sending them phony greeting cards containing malware. This prevented the users from accessing AOL unless they keyed in bank and credit card account information and other personal details. DigitalTrends reported this on August 15, 2008.

Moreover, Dolan and his accomplices also spammed AOL users with messages that claimed to have come from AOL's billing department, asking users to re-submit their billing and credit card information.

Thus, the data that Dolan and others retrieved fraudulently was used to create fake debit cards with which they bought items online.

Furthermore, apart from Dolan, another man prosecuted who belongs to the legally tried hackers' gang of six is Keith Riedel. Riedel was supposed to get a sentence on August 14, 2008, as reported by YahooTech.

The prison sentence for seven years is the maximum punishment that Dolan could have got as per legal rules. During court filings, Dolan's attorney bargained for a less strict sentence, arguing that his client was under a trauma since his father committed suicide. But the prosecutors categorized Dolan as a rigid criminal who tried to bribe another defendant in the case.

Dolan gets sentence for for years on charges of fraud, two years for engaging in identity theft, and subsequently release under supervision.

Related article: Hacker & Virus in MySpace

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