[ISN] Max Vision hit with hacking charges (again)

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Tue Sep 11 2007 - 22:31:56 PDT


By Austin Modine in Mountain View
12th September 2007

Computer security consultant and convicted cyber intruder Max Butler has 
been indicted on counts of wire-fraud and identity theft, just five 
years after being released from prison for hacking into military and 
defense contractor computers [1].

Max Butler, 35, of San Francisco (AKA Max Vision, AKA Iceman) was 
indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on three counts of wire 
fraud and two counts of transferring stolen identify information. 
Federal authorities allege that he stole "tens of thousands" of credit 
card numbers and personal information by hacking into financial 
institutions and credit card processing companies. He could face up to 
40 years in prison and a $1.5m fine if convicted of the charges.

Butler was charged in Pittsburgh because he allegedly sold more than 100 
credit card numbers to a Pennsylvania resident who cooperated in the 
investigation, said a spokeswoman for US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. 
The co-conspirator had told investigators he illegally obtained 1,000 or 
more credit card numbers a month from Butler.

Authorities also believe Butler operated a website called Cardersmarket, 
which served as a forum and aid for credit card thieves, according to 
the Associated Press. Butler currently remains in federal custody in 
California and will return to Pittsburgh to face the charges.

The indictment alleges that Butler contacted people through email to 
sell stolen card numbers. Witnesses told agents that Butler moved to 
various hotel rooms where he would use a high-powered antenna to 
intercept wireless communications, the AP reports. He would use the 
information obtained to hack into the institutions. One witness said 
Butler gained access to the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Citibank and 
a government employee's computer.

Federal authorities have not yet revealed the exact breadth of the 
credit card thievery, or if they plan to alert potential victims.

In May 2001, Butler was sentenced in a federal court after pleading 
guilty to launching an automated intrusion program that cracked hundreds 
of military and defense contractor computers. Butler admitted to 
developing the program, which created a back door on the systems he 
penetrated which could have been used to gain access at a later date.


The US Department of Justice's Cyberethics for Kids [2] page recommends 
against these practices:

"Some kids think they can't get into trouble for hacking computer 
systems and that hacking big networks like the phone company, the 
military, or NASA is harmless fun. But that's not true..."

But gee whiz, I'm really good at computers Mr. Federal Agent.

"If you like computers, don't use your brains to hack systems, invade 
other people's privacy, and take away their networks. Hacking can get 
you in a whole lot more trouble than you think and is a completely 
creepy thing to do."

C-creepy? But maybe I could get a job with computers...

"People are not going to want to hire you to protect computers if you've 
been a hacker. It's a question of trust, not skill." **

** Results may vary [3].

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/07/05/max_vision_begins_18month_term/
[2] http://www.cybercrime.gov/rules/kidinternet.htm
[3] http://edition.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/08/01/pentagon.at.defcon.idg/ 

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