[ISN] Accused Ebay Hacker To Defend Himself From Jail

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 23:54:05 PST

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    By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
    22 Jan 2002, 1:08 PM CST
    A 22-year-old computer expert accused of hacking into Ebay and other
    companies has fired his lawyer and will represent himself in court,
    his father said today.
    Facing 26 counts of computer hacking, Jerome Heckenkamp, formerly a
    computer network engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has lost
    confidence in his attorney, noted computer crime defense lawyer
    Jennifer Granick, according to Thomas Heckenkamp.
    "After fifty thousand dollars and a year, she hasn't accomplished
    anything. She even told Jerome he would lose if his case goes to
    trial. Who wants a lawyer like that?" the elder Heckenkamp said today.
    Granick, currently clinical director of the Center for Internet and
    Society at Stanford Law School, declined to comment on Thomas
    Heckenkamp's claims, except to confirm that a court in San Jose on
    Wednesday will decide whether to allow Heckenkamp, who has no legal
    training, to defend himself.
    Thomas Heckenkamp contended that Granick advised Jerome to accept a
    plea bargain offered by prosecutors, despite the Heckenkamp's belief
    that Jerome is innocent.
    "He's going to fight this now like she hasn't, and he's going to win,"  
    said Thomas Heckenkamp. A trial in the case has been delayed until
    late April, he said.
    Jerome Heckenkamp, who is incarcerated at the Santa Clara County Jail,
    was arrested in New Mexico last January. Soon thereafter Heckenkamp
    was fired by Los Alamos National Labs, where he was working as a
    network security expert.
    According to its Web site, Los Alamos is operated by the University of
    California for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the
    U.S. Department of Energy.
    Heckenkamp, who has admitted to using the hacker nickname "SK8,"  
    denied charges that he is also "MagicFX," a computer criminal accused
    of causing nearly a million dollars worth of damages by hacking into
    Ebay, Exodus, ETrade, Qualcomm, Lycos, Juniper Networks and Cygnus
    Support Solutions in 1999.
    Heckenkamp contends that someone else remotely hijacked his dorm-room
    computer and surreptitiously committed the crimes while he was a
    graduate student at the University of Wisconsin.
    Heckenkamp was jailed Jan. 18 after asking a court to rescind the
    $50,000 bond posted on his behalf by a friend, his father said.
    Besides relieving the friend of a financial burden, the move is
    designed to be "a necessary first step in order to truly fight his
    case," according to FreeSK8.org, a Web site set up by an anonymous
    individual to publicize Heckenkamp's case.
    Soon after being processed by the jail last week, Heckenkamp was
    placed in solitary confinement for five hours because he refused to
    sign documents he did not understand, his father said.
    The FreeSK8 site is at http://www.freesk8.org
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