http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/mar02/31664.asp By JAMAAL ABDUL-ALIM of the Journal Sentinel staff Last Updated: March 31, 2002 Using an "underground" computer program to steal Internet account information from about 200 people, a 16-year-old Cudahy boy bought everything from a marijuana bong to computer equipment and Air Jordan shoes, court records allege. And now, a juvenile delinquency petition states, the boy says his victims should thank him because he was "teaching them a lesson." "People are really dumb," the boy, who claims he scored 135 on an IQ test when he was 10 years old, told investigators who seized his computer at his home in the 4500 block of S. Nicholson Ave. But despite his apparent intellectual brightness, the boy told police his mind has been getting dim lately because he regularly gets stoned on drugs. "I got stupid, probably because of the drugs," the boy told police. He also told investigators he had been committing similar crimes since age 12 but had gotten greedy lately. According to a juvenile delinquency petition, which charges the boy with two felony counts of misappropriation of personal identification: The boy told police he had acquired an "underground program" capable of obtaining the e-mail addresses of people who visit America Online chat rooms. The program would then send e-mails on an AOL letterhead telling customers that their billing information had been deleted due to a "system problem" and that to continue enjoying AOL, they must provide their credit card information. The message directs recipients to a another Web site, where they were to enter the information. "We cannot link you for security reasons," read the message, sent under the fictitious name Alex Page. Apparently, many AOL users fell for the scam. The boy - who set up his computer to run the program while he was sleeping - told police he created many sites where people ultimately recorded personal information, including addresses, phone numbers, passwords, screen names, information from two credit cards, account numbers, PIN numbers, expiration dates and credit card dollar limits. The information would then be forwarded to the boy's Yahoo! e-mail account, from which he would periodically access the data. The boy told police he was particularly busy at the scheme the past two months and had gotten about 150 to 200 accounts and would obtain 10 to 15 credit card numbers a day. He told investigators it was easy because people are "dumb." "I was teaching them a lesson," the boy told investigators. "They should thank me." According to the petition, the boy used other people's credit cards to buy: * A $300 water pipe commonly used for smoking marijuana. * A computer monitor and speakers worth $500 and a $200 computer scanner purchased from AOL "shop direct." * Two $70 scales. * A pair of Air Jordan athletic shoes. * A DVD player. * A video camera and battery pack worth $153. Police said the total value of all the items purchased was $1,643. Apparently, the boy contemplated what he would do if investigators ever caught on to his web of deceit. Investigators found his computer's central processing unit removed and propped against the wall in his bedroom. The boy told investigators the reason was so that he could destroy the hard drive before police retrieved it. The boy told investigators how to enter the Internet sites he used to commit his crimes. The petition does not detail how investigators became aware of the boy's scheme, but it does indicate that records are being subpoenaed from AOL and Yahoo! Among the people who fell for the boy's deceit were several individuals from California, court records state. One of those customers told police that the message the boy sent appeared legitimate. The boy - expected to enter a plea in the case this week - has been placed at an area shelter and was ordered to have no contact with computers while his case is pending. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Apr 03 2002 - 03:54:26 PST