[ISN] Mafiaboy must be jailed, says social worker

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 19 2001 - 23:39:44 PDT

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    The Canadian Press
    Tuesday, June 19, 2001 
    MONTREAL (CP) -- A 16-year-old computer hacker who crippled major
    Internet sites such as CNN and Yahoo should spend at least five months
    in custody because he shows no remorse for his crimes, a youth court
    heard Tuesday.
    And because the teen, known as Mafiaboy, hasn't acknowledged the
    seriousness of the attacks in February 2000 there is a "moderate risk"
    he'll re-offend, Hanny Chung, a court-appointed social worker,
    testified during a sentencing hearing.
    "Not only is he not taking full responsibility for what he did, he's
    still trying to justify that what he did was right," Chung told Judge
    Gilles Ouellet.
    "Unless a person is acknowledging what he did was wrong, how is he
    going to make amends and correct his thinking? We haven't see that so
    far here."
    The Montreal teen, who can't be identified because of his age, pleaded
    guilty in January to 58 charges related to attacks on CNN, Yahoo,
    Dell, Amazon and EBay and security breaches of other sites in Canada,
    the United States, Denmark and Korea.
    The incidents made international headlines and led to a sweeping
    investigation that ended in Montreal with the teen's arrest in April
    In recommending a five-month sentence in a youth detention centre,
    Chung noted the boy hadn't had enough supervision at home and needed
    more discipline in his life.
    The boy's parents are divorced and have since remarried. He lived with
    his father at the time of the attacks and continues to do so, but is
    prohibited from using computers while out on bail.
    Chung said the boy would have a more structured environment in
    custody, could still get schooling and would have access to programs
    to improve his "moral reasoning."
    The maximum sentence the boy could receive is two years in a youth
    detention centre.
    The most serious charges relate to denial-of-service attacks against
    the Web sites belonging to the five companies. The sites were
    bombarded with thousands of simultaneous messages, which prevented
    legitimate users from accessing them.
    Fifty-two of the charges relate to Mafiaboy's illegal use of computers
    located at various universities, including the University of
    California at Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts.
    Following a series of interviews with the boy and his family, Chung
    concluded he does not believe the boy's assertion that he was only
    trying to test the security of the computer systems.
    The teen's defence also has been that he was capable of doing much
    more damage, but chose not to.
    But Chung said if the boy's intentions had truly been to protect
    society and help corporations, the attacks would not have been several
    hours long and spread over five days.
    He also noted this was not the first time hacking at the family's home
    had attracted the attention of the authorities.
    The boy's father told Chung the FBI contacted him in late 1999 to
    advise that someone was using their home computer for illegal
    activities. The father responded by disconnecting the Internet
    service, only to discover later that the boy and his older brother had
    continued using someone else's Internet account.
    During his questioning of Chung, defence lawyer Yan Romanowski pressed
    the social worker to define what he would consider to be proper
    remorse given there was no violent crime committed and no one was
    physically injured.
    "What was he supposed to do, cry?" asked Romanowski.
    "He has pleaded guilty, which seems to acknowledge that what he did
    was wrong."
    Romanowski also singled out segments of Chung's 16-page report, which
    noted the teen "is not delinquency oriented" and "possesses a healthy
    value system."
    In explaining his fascination for computers and the Internet, the teen
    told Chung he believed he was born to use computers and choose Yahoo's
    site as his first target because he considered it to be the God of all
    Internet sites.
    If the court decides to further restrict his computer access as
    punishment, he told Chung he would consider moving to Italy because
    Italian-based Internet sites are less secure and the laws are not as
    Neither Romanowski or Crown prosecutor Louis Miville-Deschenes have
    made their sentencing recommendations.
    One of the major factors will be the extent of the damage caused by
    the teen's actions.
    While estimates released immediately after the attacks hit $1.7
    billion US, Miville-Deschenes said the figure is closer to about $7.5
    million. Romanowski contests that value.
    The hearing is scheduled to resume August 28.
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