[ISN] Max Vision begins 18-month term

From: William Knowles (wkat_private)
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 01:39:29 PDT

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    By Kevin Poulsen
    Posted: 05/07/2001 at 19:12 GMT
    Computer security consultant and confessed cyber intruder Max Butler
    will serve out his 18-month prison term at the privately-run Taft
    Correctional Institution in central California, sources say.
    Butler, known as 'Max Vision' to friends and associates, pleaded
    guilty last September to launching an automated intrusion program that
    cracked hundreds of military and defense contractor computers over a
    few days in 1998. Butler was sentenced in federal court in San Jose,
    California in May, and he surrendered to the custody of US Marshals
    last week.
    In a telephone interview from a county jail where he was awaiting
    transit, the newly-incarcerated hacker admitted he crossed the line,
    but said he thought prison wasn't an appropriate remedy.
    "I really feel out of place," said Butler. "I think there are a lot of
    crimes that the jails aren't a suitable punishment for... I think
    there are better ways to solve the problem, to address what I did."
    A consultant who specialized in performing penetration tests on
    corporate networks, the 28-year-old Butler is known for his expertise
    in intrusion detection: the science of automatically analyzing
    Internet traffic for "signatures" indicative of an attack. Butler
    remains well-regarded among many security experts for creating and
    maintaining arachNIDS, a free, up-to-date catalog of attack signatures
    at WhiteHats.com.
    Butler donned a hat of a different color in June of 1998, at a time
    when much of the Internet was still vulnerable to a hole that had been
    discovered months earlier in the ubiquitous BIND "named" domain
    Apparently concerned that government networks weren't being patched
    against the hole, Butler launched a program that scanned for
    vulnerable Defense Department systems, cracked them, then closed the
    hole in each of them -- forestalling attacks from other hackers.
    Less altruistically, Butler's program created a back door on every
    system it penetrated, which the hacker could have used to gain access
    "I knew that I shouldn't have been doing what I was doing, but I had
    good intentions overall, and I closed this hole in thousands of
    systems, probably tens of thousands of system," said Butler from jail.
    Butler attributed his actions to a combination of peer pressure and
    hacker hubris. "I'd heard of this sort of thing all my life," said
    Butler. "To see all these dot-mil's scroll up the screen... there was
    a certain sort of thrill to it."
    With credit for good behavior, Butler will be eligible for assignment
    to a community halfway house as early as April of next year, and will
    be released in mid-October 2002. The hacker used his final days of
    freedom ensuring that arachNIDS would remain available until then.
    "He spent the last weekend mostly just typing, and getting everything
    set up so people would have arachNIDS," said Butler's wife, Kimi
    Winter -- also a computer security consultant. "I thought it was
    really nice of him, but I would rather have spent it lying around the
    beach." Winter will maintain arachNIDS in her husband's absence.
    Located in Kern County, California, the Taft Correctional Institution
    is an 1800-bed prison operated under a contract with the US government
    by Wackenhut Corrections, a for-profit corporation that manages over
    fifty prisons in at least ten countries. The company is a former
    subsidiary of the Wackenhut Corporation, a global security concern.
    Butler will likely be housed at Taft's 500-bed minimum security work
    camp. He joins a who's-who of incarcerated hackers doing federal time
    in minimum security facilities from Oregon to Oklahoma:
    Patrick Gregory 
    Handle: MostHateD 
    Age: 20 
    Sentence: 26 months 
    Location: Federal Prison Camp, Beaumont, Texas 
    Story: Gregory was a leader in a gang of prolific Web site defacers
    called globalHell. He received a reduced sentence for informing on
    other gang members. 
    Projected Release Date: July 15th, 2002 
    Jonathan Bosanac 
    Handle: Gatsby 
    Age: 28 
    Sentence: 18 months 
    Location: Federal Prison Camp, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada 
    Story: A member of a nationwide ring of sophisticated hackers the FBI
    dubbed 'the Phone Masters,' who penetrated telephone company systems,
    accessed credit reports and cracked the FBI's NCIC computer. 
    Projected release date: September 4th, 2001. 
    Corey Lindsley 
    Handle: Tabas 
    Age: 33 
    Sentence: 41 months 
    Location: Federal Prison Camp, Sheridan, Oregon 
    Story: Lindsley was purportedly the leader of the Phone Masters. 
    Projected release date: November 18th, 2002 
    Calvin Cantrell 
    Handle: Zibby 
    Age: 31 
    Sentence: 24 months 
    Location: Federal Prison Camp, El Reno, Oklahoma 
    Story: Cantrell earned $9,000 selling stolen telephone calling card
    numbers. He was the first of the Phone Masters to be detected and
    Projected release date: October 27th, 2001 
    Andrew Miffleton 
    Handle: Daphtpunk 
    Age: 26 
    Sentence: 21 months 
    Location: Federal Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas 
    Story: Targeted for running a hacker web site, Miffleton pleaded
    guilty to trafficking in access codes, and admitted to obtaining
    root-level access to the ISP Verio. 
    Projected release date: November 13th, 2001 
    Jesus Oquendo 
    Handle: Sil 
    Age 27 
    Sentence: 27 months 
    Location: Free on bail. 
    Story: Convicted of hacking his venture capitalist after the dot-com
    he worked for collapsed, Oquendo is the only hacker in recent memory
    to take his case to jury trial. He was convicted, but continues to
    maintain his innocence.
    Scheduled to surrender: July 25th, 2001. 
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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