RealNews

'Patriot' hacker pleads guilty

A Florida man pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to charges stemming from his role as one-half of the high-profile hacking team “The Deceptive Duo,” responsible for obtaining sensitive information from government systems, and defacing dozens of governmental and private Web sites with patriotically-themed messages exhorting the U.S. to shore up cyber defenses. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Benjamin Stark, 22, admitted to cracking eleven computer networks belonging to nine U.S. government departments and private commercial entities. He faces a likely prison term of 24 to 30 months in custody under federal sentencing guidelines. The Deceptive Duo drew public attention in April 2002 for defacing government websites with a patriotic “mission outline” in which they described themselves as anonymous U.S. citizens determined to save the country from cyberterrorists by exposing security holes in critical infrastructures. “Tighten the security before a foreign attack forces you to,” the Duo’s defacements typically read. Full Story

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