[ISN] Convicted hacker offline ... and may be on the run

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 13 1998 - 05:51:49 PST

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    Convicted hacker offline ... and may be on the run
    By Joseph C. Panettieri, Sm@rt Reseller
    November 10, 1998 5:32 PM PT
    URL: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2162751,00.html
    Where in the world is former hacker and FBI informant Justin Tanner
    Only Petersen knows for sure. Rumors are swirling on the Internet that
    Petersen is once again a fugitive from the law. And by all indications,
    the scuttlebutt appears to be true. 
    Petersen served time between 1995 and 1997 for hacking a financial
    institution and electronically stealing $150,000. He also served as an FBI
    informant between 1991 and 1993. 
    Ratted out Mitnick?  Along the way, Petersen allegedly gathered evidence
    against several high-profile hackers, including Kevin Mitnick and reformed
    hacker and ZDTV columnist, Kevin Poulsen. 
    More recently, Petersen was attempting to go legit as a Windows NT guru
    and Web consultant in Los Angeles. He even reached out to resellers in a
    bid to find work. But those attempts evidently weren't enough to pay
    Petersen's bills. 
    The hacker fugitive
    Indeed, according to several reformed hackers and an attorney familiar
    with Petersen's legal history, Petersen has violated conditions of his
    parole.  Several sources said Petersen now is a fugitive wanted by U.S.
    "The rumors are true," said Richard Sherman, an attorney who openly
    questioned the FBI's use of Petersen as an informant earlier this decade. 
    "Apparently, Justin's terms of probation were modified and he had to work. 
    He decided to split." 
    Details are still sketchy, but several sources said the U.S. District
    Court for The Central District of California issued an arrest warrant for
    Petersen on Sept. 30. Petersen's Web site is offline, but his URL has been
    redirected to another site that contains a copy of the alleged arrest
    "I'm gone baby"
    Petersen could not be reached for comment. His primary phone number was
    disconnected; a secondary number included a voice message from Petersen
    stating: "I'm gone baby. Leave a message and I'll get back to you." 
    So far, the government isn't talking about Petersen's legal status. 
    Petersen's run from justice "is only a rumor," said David Schindler, an
    Assistant U.S. Attorney. Schindler prosecuted Petersen's previous case,
    and currently is prosecuting Mitnick and his alleged sidekick, Lewis
    Petersen has a history of running from justice. In 1993, he committed
    wiretapping crimes while serving as an FBI informant. When prosecutors
    confronted Petersen about the crimes, he fled and became a fugitive. 
    Petersen resurfaced in 1994 when he hacked Heller Financial Inc., a
    commercial financial service provider in Glendale, Calif. Petersen made
    two bomb threats to distract Heller employees while he electronically
    stole $150,000. He was arrested shortly after the digital heist and served
    3 years, 5 months in prison. 
    Petersen was freed last year and by most accounts had gone legit. However,
    some legal experts expected him back in court to testify at the upcoming
    Mitnick trial, which is scheduled to kick off in January. 
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