TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: mod2.txt

More on the MoD busts

APn  09-Jul-92 05:22:00 
Computer Fraud

Copyright 1992 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

The information contained in this news report may not be
republished or redistributed without the prior written authority
of The Associated Press. 
 Associated Press Writer 
   NEW YORK (AP) -- Five young "hackers" wrecked a local TV
station's education program and left electronic graffiti on an NBC
news show, according to a federal indictment charging them with
breaking into computer systems. 
   The hackers also got 176 credit reports from the TRW credit
information company, the indictment charges. 
   Wiretaps on computer-to-computer communications were used as
evidence against the five, the first time wiretaps have been used
that way, said U.S. Attorney Otto Obermaier. 
   The five, indicted Wednesday, did it to show off to their
peers, to harass people they did not like, to obtain services
without paying and to get information they could sell, Obermaier
   They were part of a group of hackers, people adept at using
computers to get into other computers or data systems, who called
themselves MOD, which stood for "masters of disaster" or "masters
of deception." 
   Obermaier said MOD's members include Julio "Outlaw" Fernandez,
18; John "Corrupt" Lee, 21; Mark "Phiber Optik" Abene, 20; Elias
"Acid Phreak" Ladopolous, 22; and Paul "Scorpion" Stira, 22. All
are from New York City. 
   The five are charged with computer tampering, computer fraud,
wire fraud, illegal wiretapping and conspiracy. They will be
arraigned in federal court July 16. Each count is punishable by up
to five years in prison. 
   Lee denied the charges and will plead innocent, said his
lawyer, Charles A. Ross. Stira's lawyer, Marjorie J. Peerce, said
he would plead innocent. 
   Abene denied any wrongdoing but refused further comment. 
   The other defendants could not be reached for comment. 
   On Nov. 28, 1989, MOD destroyed the information in WNET Channel
13's Learning Link computer in New York City. 
   Learning Link provided education and instructional material to
hundreds of schools and teachers in New York, New Jersey and
   A message left on the Learning Link computer said, "Happy
Thanksgiving, you turkeys, from all of us at MOD." The message was
signed "Acid Phreak," "Phiber Optik," and "Scorpion," said Stephen
Fishbein, assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the prosecution. 
   During an NBC news broadcast on Nov. 14, 1990, two hackers
identified as "Acid Phreak" and "Phiber Optik" claimed
responsibility for sending the "Happy Thanksgiving" message that
appeared on the screen, Fishbein said. 
   The hackers also allegedly broke into telephone switching
computers operated by Southwestern Bell, New York Telephone,
Pacific Bell, U.S. West and Martin Marietta Electronics
Information and Missile Group. 
   In some case they added and altered calling features. For
example, they call-forwarded local numbers to long distance numbers
so they could get long distance calls for the price of a local
call, Obermaier said. 
   Southwestern Bell reported it lost some $370,000 in 1991 because
of computer tampering by three of the defendants. 
   Obermaier said no defense intelligence was compromised by the
Martin Marietta invasion. 
   Two other defendants, Morton Rosenfeld, 21, and Alfredo de la
Fe, 18, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use and traffic in
unauthorized access devices in connection with MOD's activities. 
   They are free on bond and face sentencing in August and

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