Computer Underground Digest Volume 1, Issue #1.24 (July 22, 1990)

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**************************************************************************** >C O M P U T E R U N D E R G R O U N D< >D I G E S T< *** Volume 1, Issue #1.24 (July 22, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith REPLY TO: TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Contributors assume all responsibility for assuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ CONTENTS: File 1: Moderators' Comments File 2: Neidorf Trial: The First Day File 3: Electronic Frontier Update (John Perry Barlow) File 4: Press Release from Atlanta Prosecutor on LoD Guilty Pleas File 5: CU in the News ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.24, File 1 of 4: Moderators' Comments *** ******************************************************************** ++++++++++ In this file: 1) Craig Neidorf's Trial 2) Revisions of 1986 Computer Crime Bill +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ CRAIG NEIDORF'S TRIAL +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jury selection for Craig Neiforf's trial began today (July 23). File #2 (this issue) contains a summary of events. Several CuDites (including the moderators) will divide attending duties for the duration and will keep readers informed. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks. The prosecution is expected to take a week to develop its case, and the defense will take at least a week to respond. The defense requested a jury trial, and much of the strategy for both sides will be an attempt to educate the jury without blowing them away with technical jargon. It also appears that, as part of their plea agreement, at least one of the LoD defendants will testify for the prosecution. Sentencing for the LoD defendants will occur in September, giving great incentive to them for "cooperating" against Neidorf. A source who interviewed an assistant attorney working on the Atlanta case indicated that the proseuction will ask for the judge to "depart downward" from the sentencing guidelines if there is "complete cooperation" from Riggs on other cases. ++++++++++++++++++ Revisions of Title 18 / Federal Computer Abuse Act +++++++++++++++++++ There is currently a move afoot to revise the federal computer fraud and abuse statute of 1986. File 4 contains a news story describing the nature of some of the proposed revisions. Any revisions that will further enlarge the scope of prosecutable offenses is unacceptable, and CuD will watch the progress and keep readers informed. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.24: File 2 of 5: First day of the Neidorf Trial *** ******************************************************************** We have two separate reports from the opening day of Craig Neidorf's trial. The first comes from Gordon Meyer, and the second from an anonymous contributor. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ TO: >INTERNET:TK0JUT2%NIU.BITNET@UICVM.UIC.EDU RE: ARTICLE ON JURY SELECTION 7/23/90 Chicago, IL. The jury selection in case # 90 CR 70 (United States v. Craig Neidorf) was completed today. Although opening statements were also scheduled to begin the selection of jurors, while not overly arduous, did perhaps take longer than was anticipated. Courtroom observers were overheard remarking that Judge Bua seemed to be a bit more cautious and in-depth in his questioning than usual. The Government was represented by a team of three attorneys, headed by Bill Cook. Also in attendance was agent Foley of the US Secret Service. The prosecution team brought along two "shopping carts" full of binders and boxes of paper, along with an easel and several charts of some sort. However none of this was utilized as the trial never proceeded to the opening comments, which are now scheduled to begin at 10am tomorrow morning. (Room 2503, Dirksen Federal Building. Jackson and Dearborn.) Defendant Neidorf, dressed in a blue blazer and khaki pants, was seated next to his attorney, Sheldon Zenner. (Who, by the way, looks a bit like George Will.) Also in attendance, though seated in the gallery, were Craig's parents, his grandparents, Dorothy Denning (who will be testifying later in the trial), and several other lawyers and staff from Katten, Muchin, and Zavis (the firm with which Zenner is associated). Bua's opening remarks to the prospective jurors included a brief summary of the charges and an admonishment that an indictment does not necc translate into guilt. Bua's questions to each of the jurors, after they were called to sit in the jury box for consideration, included the traditional "where do you live" and "what magazines do you subscribe to" questions, but also included specific inquiries into grievances or affiliation with Bell South/AT&T/Illinois Bell, association with Craig's college fraternity (ZBT), and use/knowledge of computers. Jurors were also queried as to whether or not they had any idea what a computer bulletin board was, and if they had ever used one. The process of juror selection took over four hours and thirty minutes (excluding recesses). During this time several people were excused from the selection pool for various reasons. In Federal court the Judge queries the jurors, with the counsel for each party communicating their "vote" via written messages. Therefore, it is difficult to say for sure whether the defense or prosecution wished to exclude which individuals. (It is also possible that a potential juror be excluded for other reasons as well, such as knowing a witness or something.) Never the less, it seemed quite obvious why some people were not chosen. Some, for example, turned out to be Bell South and/or AT&T stockholders. Another had a husband who worked for Motorola Cellular (which has ties to Bell South Mobile). One man had served on three juries, and one grand jury previously. And finally there was Catholic priest who had studied Constitutional law, been involved in an ACLU sponsored law suit against the state of Colorado, and been involved in various other litigations. Here then, is a thumbnail sketch of each jury member that was selected. (The first six were selected and sworn in before lunch, the next six and the alternates that afternoon.) The information here has been gleaned from their selection interviews and is presented so as to get a better idea of the "peers" that will judge Mr. Neidorf. 1. Male, white, mid to late 20's. Works in an orthopedic surgeons office. Has computer experience in using SPSSx-PC, 1-2-3, and various other number-crunching applications. Doesn't subscribe to any magazines. 2. Elderly white female. Retired, but used to work at a Hallmark store. No computer experience. 3. Female, white, mid to late 40's. Teaches court reporting at a trade school, has never worked as a court reporter. Has some computer experience with word processing and spreadsheets. 4. Female, white. Middle aged. Former City Clerk (elected) of a Chicago suburb. No computer experience. Subscribes to Readers Digest. 5. Male, White, late 30's. Passenger pilot for American Airlines. Subscribes to Compute! magazine. Has a PC at home. The only juror to have ever used a BBS (one set up by American for use by the pilots). 6. Female, Afro-American. Works as a school volunteer and a baby sitter. Has used history teaching programs on Apple PC's at Malcom X College. 7. Female, Afro-American. Works in claims underwriting at CNA. Experience in word processing and using LAN based PC's. Former Illinois Bell and AT&T employee. 8. Female, Afro-American. Works for the Chicago Board of Education. Some computer experience in the classroom (as a teaching tool). Holds an MS degree in Special Ed. 9. Female, white, elderly. School teacher (1st grade). Classroom use of computers. MA degree in education. Subscribes to Newsweek. 10. Male, Afro-American. 36 years old, lives with parents who are retired postal workers. Employee of Trans-Union credit reporting company. Programming exposure in BASIC and COBOL. 11. Female, white, early 20's. Lives with parents. Holds a BA in education, studying for a Masters from North Western University. Teaches Jr. High, has WP and some DTP use of computers but limited in other knowledge. 12. Male, white, 30-ish. Chief engineer at a company the makes floor trusses for construction sites. Has a BS in architectural engineering. Has done a little programming. Uses CAD packages, spreadsheets. Had a class in FORTRAN in college. Has used a modem to download files from software manufacturers. ALTERNATE JURORS 1. Female, white. Works as a systems analyst and LAN administrator. Familiar with PC to Mainframe connections. Holds a BA in Special Education and has about 20 hours of computer classes. Familiar with Assembler, COBOL, and PL1 among other languages. 2. Female, white. Owns and operates a small hotel with her husband. Uses a Macintosh for word processing but husband does most of the computer stuff. Holds a BA from Northwestern. Subscribes to the New York Times. 3. Female, Afro-American. Works at the Christian League of Chicago. Formerly a word processor at Montgomery Wards. 4. Male, white, early 50's. Elementary school principle. Former phys-ed teacher. Access school district records using modem connection to district computer, has used e-mail on the districts bulletin board. Holds an MA in Education from Loyola University of Chicago. Random Notes: Court begins at 9am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 10pm on Tuesday and Thursday (except today, things didn't get going until 10:00). Although Judge Bua was careful to pronounce each of the prospective jurors last names correctly, he seemed to mispronounce Neidorf's name differently every time he said it. "Neardorf", "Neardof", and "Nierndon" were distinctly heard. I respectfully suggest that he learn to pronounce it if not correctly, at least consistently wrong, lest the jury think there is more than one person on trial. Finally, a reporter from Channel 7 in Chicago was in and out of the courtroom throughout the day. Reportedly a brief piece ran on the evening news today but I wasn't home in time to catch it. I spoke to one of the camera men waiting to get some film of Neidorf and he indicated that something might appear on tuesday. ******************************************************************** ++++++++++++ Anonymously contributed ++++++++++++ U.S. v. NEIDORF--an anonymous view A seal high on the wall, the icon of justice, ornate and gothic, looms over the courtroom. Light seeps out of the ceiling giving the illusion of daylight, but like the justice itself, the source remains invisible and ominously cold, creating an impression of indifference to all who enter these halls. Perhaps 50 people are seated on one side and a few on the other side. The are the potential jurors. A handful of functionaries stand, sit, or mill about. The judge, cool and stern, looks left, then right. A law student from England is taking notes. "Fascinating, your process of jury selection," he remarks. "What's this case about?" Somebody else is sketching. A giant of a fellow, one would guess a pro football player, but in fact, I learn, it is the CuD reporter, Gordon Meyer, sits impassively. A television reporter from a local t.v. station hobbles about on crutches, looking for people to interview. In front of the judge, to his right, a youth and an older man sit, a notebook and a pitcher of icewater in front of them. On the left sits a team of prosecutors, two shopping carts full of documents, an easel for demonstrations, and smirks. The man in charge, Bill Cook, is small, lithe, and tanned. He appears to be in his early 40s. One can picture him in tennis whites, drinking gin and tonic, and discussing political ambitions on the veranda of a country club. The judge calls the prospective jurors, and takes care to pronounce their names correctly. He continually mispronounces the defendant's name. The judge asks the questions, the attorneys take notes. "Do you use a computer?" "What kind of software to you use?" "Are you familiar with this case?" (none were). The judge seems cautious, reserved. The attorneys decide, on a "paper ballot," which prospects to retain or dismiss. About half were dismissed. The panel was selected by 4 pm. Four alternates were selected in about 45 minutes. Thus begins the first day of the inquisition of Craig Neidorf. What will happen in the next few weeks? The judge says that it could last from seven to ten days. What is in all those documents the prosecution has made dramatically visible? What kinds of things will they say? Will he take the same kind of cheap shots he took against Shadowhawk, whom he prosecuted a few years ago? They say, after all, this is the same prosecutor who, noting that Mr. Zinn's crimes were committed with a computer, is reputed to have said, "So if you had gun instead, then you'd be a murder??" Not without irony, the seal of justice looms over a scene in which the goal of the prosecution seems not to be truth or fairness, but story-telling and show. The drama of justice will be played out, verdicts will be announced, these people will leave and others take their place. But, on this first day, I cannot but wonder along with the British student, why we are all here? ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.24: File 3 of 5: Electronic Frontier Fund Update*** ******************************************************************** From: well! Subject: EFF mailing #1, take 2 To: Date: Mon, 23 Jul 90 13:33:58 PDT THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION One Cambridge Center, Suite 300 Cambridge, MA 02142 617/577-1385 617/225-2347 fax Saturday, July 21, 1990 Good people, Greetings. Some of you who read Crime and Puzzlement when it first went digital and offered immediate help in dealing with the issues raised therein. It's been five weeks since I promised to get back to you "shortly." It is now clear that we are operating on political rather than electronic time. And political time, though not so ponderous as geologic time or, worse, legal time, is hardly swift. The Net may be instantaneous, but people are as slow as ever. Nevertheless, much has happened since early June. Crime and Puzzlement rattled all over Cyberspace and has, by now, generated almost 300 unsolicited offers of, physical, and virtual. At times during this period I responded to as many as 100 e-mail messages a day with the average running around 50. (The voice of Peter Lorre is heard in the background, repeating, "Toktor, ve haf created a *monster*.") Well, we have at least created an organization. Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and I have founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an endeavor for which we have immodest ambitions. Descending from the Computer Liberty Foundation mentioned in Crime and Puzzlement, the EFF has received initial (and extremely generous) funding from Mitch, Steve Wozniak, and another Silicon Valley pioneer who wishes to remain anonymous. We have also received many smaller offers of support. As you will see in the accompanying press release, we formally announced the EFF at a press conference in Washington on July 10. The press attention was lavish but predictable...KAPOR TO AID COMPUTER CRIMINALS. Actually, our mission is nothing less than the civilization of Cyberspace. We mean to achieve this through a variety of undertakings, ranging from immediate legal action to patient, long-lasting efforts aimed at forming, in the public consciousness, useful metaphors for life in the Datasphere. There is much to do. Here is an abbreviated description of what we are already doing: * We have engaged the law firms of Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman and Silverglate & Good to intervene on behalf of Craig Neidorf (the publisher of Phrack) and Steve Jackson Games. (For a digest of the legal issues, please see the message following this one.) We became involved in these particular cases because of their general relevance and we remain alert to developments in a number of other related cases. Despite what you may have read, we are not involved in these legal matters as a "cracker's defense fund," but rather to ensure that the Constitution will continue to apply to digital media. Free expression must be preserved long after the last printing press is gathering museum dust. And we intend an unequivocal legal demonstration that speech is speech whether it finds form in ink or in ascii. * We have funded a significant two-year project on computing and civil liberties to be managed by the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. With it, we aim to acquaint policy makers and law enforcement officials of the civil liberties issues which may lie hidden in the brambles of telecommunications policy. (A full description of this project follows.) * During the days before and after the press conference, Mitch and I met with Congressional staffers, legal authorities, and journalists, as well as officials from the White House and Library of Congress. Thus we began discussions which we expect to continue over a period of years. These informal sessions will relate to intellectual property, free flow of information, law enforcement training and techniques, and telecommunications law, infrastructure, and regulation. Much of this promises to be boring as dirt, but we believe that it is necessary to "re-package" the central issues in more digestible, even entertaining, forms if the general public is to become involved in the policies which will fundamentally determine the future of American liberty. * Recognizing that Cyberspace will be only as civilized as its inhabitants, we are working with a software developer to create an "intelligent front end" for UNIX mail systems. This will, we hope, make Net access so easy that your mother will be able cruise around the digital domain (if you can figure out a way to make her want to). As many of you are keenly aware, the best way, perhaps the only way, to understand the issues involved in digital telecommunications is to experience them first hand. These are audacious goals. However, the enthusiasm already shown the Foundation indicates that they may not be unrealistic ones. The EFF could be like a seed crystal dropped into a super-saturated solution. (Or perhaps more appropriately, "the hundredth monkey.") Our organization has been so far extremely self-generative as people find in it an expression for concerns which they had felt but had not articulated. In any case, we are seeing a spirit of voluntary engagement which is quite a departure from the common public interest sensation of "pushing a rope." You, the recipients of this first e-mailing are the pioneers in this effort. By coming forward and offering your support, both financial and personal, you are doing much to define the eventual structure and flavor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And much remains to be defined. We are applying for 501(c)3 status, which means that your contributions to the Foundation will be tax deductible at the time this status is granted. However, tax-exempt status also places restrictions on the ability to lobby which may not be consistent with our mission. Like many activist organizations, we may find it necessary to maintain two organizations, one for lobbying and the other for education. We are in the process of setting up both a BBS in Cambridge and a Net newsgroups. None of this is as straightforward as we would have it be. We have also just received an offer of production and editorial help with a newsletter. What can you do? Well, for starters, you can spread the word about EFF as widely as possible, both on and off the Net. Feel free, for example, to distribute any of the materials included in this or subsequent mailings, especially to those who may be interested but who may not have Net access. You can turn some of the immense processing horsepower of your distributed Mind to the task of finding useful new metaphors for community, expression, property, privacy and other realities of the physical world which seem up for grabs in these less tangible regions. And you can try to communicate to technically unsophisticated friends the extent to which their future freedoms and well-being may depend on understanding the broad forms of digital communication, if not necessarily the technical details. Finally, you can keep in touch with us at any of the above addresses. Please pass on your thoughts, concerns, insights, contacts, suggestions, and, and most importantly, news of relevant events. And we will return the favor. Forward, John Perry Barlow for The Electronic Frontier Foundation ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.24: File 4 of 5: Atlanta Press LoD Press Release*** ******************************************************************** U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney Northern District of Georgia MONDAY, JUNE 9, 1990 Suite 1800 Richard Russell Building 5 Spring Street, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30335 Telephone: (404) 331-6954 NEWS RELEASE Joe D. Whitley, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and Dwight D. Ellison, Special Agent in charge, United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office, announced today that three Atlanta men pleaded guilty to charges involving a scheme to defraud Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company and BellSouth Advanced Network, subsidiaries of Bellsouth, (collectively referred to as "BellSouth") out of valuable proprietary information. The defendants are ADAM E. GRANT, a/k/a The Urvile and a/k/a Necron 99, of Atlanta, Georgia, age 22; FRANKLIN E. DARDEN, JR., a/k/a The Leftist, of Norcross, Georgia, age 24; and ROBERT J. RIGGS, a/k/a The Prophet, of Atlanta, Georgia, age 22. Between September 10, 1987 and July 21, 1989, according to the government, all three defendants conspired to commit computer fraud, wire fraud, access code fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen property under Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371, 1030, 1343, 1029, and 2314. Defendants DARDEN and RIGGS pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count apiece. Both face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Defendant GRANT pleaded guilty to possessing 15 or more BellSouth access devices with the intent to defraud. GRANT faces a maximum penalty of 10 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 1990, before United States District Court Judge J. Owen Forrester. According to the government's statement of what the evidence at trial would have shown, defendants accessed various BellSouth computer systems without authority and obtained valuable proprietary information which they distributed to other "computer hackers." The defendants and others stole valuable proprietary BellSouth information and positioning {sic} themselves to significantly compromise telephone service in the four-state BellSouth area and throughout the country. Defendants GRANT and DARDEN also monitored telephone conversations by breaking into BellSouth computer systems. According to the government's evidence, all three defendants were members of an organization called "Legion of Doom," a closely knit group of over 15 computer hackers located in Georgia, Texas, Michigan, illinois, Florida, New York, and other states. According to the government, the Legion of Doom disrupted the telecommunications industry, monitored private telephone lines, stole proprietary information, stole and modified credit information, fraudulently obtained property from various companies, and disseminated information that allowed other computer hackers to enter BellSouth and non-BellSouth computer systems. This indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Atlanta field office of the Unite States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Kent B. Alexander prosecuted the case. The United States Attorney commended Special Agents Bill Gleason and Bill Conkell of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Office, for their outstanding work in investigating the case. The United States Attorney also thanked BellSouth for their very helpful assistance and encouraged other companies to report illegal computer intrusions to the government. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.24: File 5 of 5: The CU in the News *** ******************************************************************** "An Espionage Law that may not Compute" By George Lardner, Jr. Source: The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, July 16-22, 1999: p. 34 The Bush administration is seeking a change in the federal computer espionage law that would open the door to prosecution and conviction of whistle-blowers and journalists as well as spies. The Justice Department says the proposal would make the espionage law "more useful." It would eliminate a provision in current law requiring proof of espionage and make it a crime simply to use--or cause the use of--a computer to obtain classified information without authorization. The penalties would be the same as they are now. Violators would be subject to 10 years in prison for a first offense, or "an attempt to commit such an offense." Second offenders could be sent away for 20 years. The proposal was submitted to Congress last month by Acting Assistant Attorney General Bruce C. Navarro as part of a package of changes in the computer fraud and abuse statute of 1986. It has drawn a frosty reception from lawmakers with jurisdiction over the issue. "It seems they want to make far more people spies than actually are," says Democratic Rep. Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice. Under the current computer espionage law, it is a felony for anyone knowingly to gain unauthorized access to a computer and obtain classified information "with the intent or reason to believe that such information so obtained is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation." The Justice Department wants to drop the "intent or reason to believe" clause. Although the clause is a stable of traditional espionage laws dating back to 1917, the Justice Department contents that it "has so narrowed the application of the computer espionage provision as to render it virtually usless." Taking it out, Justice officials say in a section-by-section analysis, would establish a "new computer crime offense, which merely requires proof that the person obtained certain information, and not that he delivered it or transmitted it to any other person or government." Prosecutors would then have "another weapon for combating the increasing number of espionage cases." Another part of the Justice Department package that drew criticism was a provision that would define information in a computer, as well as computer processing time, as "property." "The thrust of that is to say that if you take information, that's property and you can be accused of stealing," Schumer says. "I think that's very dangerous. We need a law more finely honed than that." Morton Halperin, Washington director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), says the proposals call to mind the controversial 1985 prosecution of former naval intelligence analyst Samuel Loring Morison, the first person convicted under espionage laws for leaking documents "relating to the national defense" to the news media. Morison was found guilty of espionage and theft of government property for leaking three spy satellite photographs that were classified secret to a British magazine. He also was convicted on separate espionage and theft charges for taking portions of two other Navy documents, also classified secret, and keeping them in an envelope at his Crofton, Md. apartment. Morison's lawyers contended that the sections of espionage law used in the case were meant to apply only in a clandestine setting, to spies and saboteurs, and not to disclosures to the news media. As for the theft charges, they protested that making the law applicable to government "information" would give the executive branch unbridled discretion to control what the public may be told. An advocate of bigger defense budges and a supporter of president Ronald Reagan, Morison contended that he sent the magazine satellite photos, which showed the first Soviet nuclear aircraft carrier under construction at a Black Sea shipyard, primarily because he was interested in publicizing the Soviet threat. He was sentenced to two years in prison. Under the Justice Department's computer espionage proposal, it could be even more dangerous to take the secrets from a computer than to get them on paper. The bill would make it a crime to pluck from a computer any "classified" information, even items stamped secret, because disclosure would be embarrassing. That is a much broader category than documents "relating to the national defense." Halperin says the ACLU would strongly oppose any such change in the law. "Given the amount of information that is classified and the degree to which debate in the United States depends on that information, we have consistently opposed criminalizing access to classified information by private citizens, except where it involves transfer to foreign powers," Halperin says. Justice Department officials acknowledge that their proposal would cover whistle-blowers and journalists. "No one considered that in the drafting of it," says Grace L. Mastalli, special counsel in Justice's Office of Policy Development. But she says it was "probably not possible to narrow it without destroying the purpose of the bill. (End this story) ******************************************************************** Date: Thu, 19 Jul 90 00:34:48 EDT From: Michael Rosen Subject: stuff To: Computer Underground Digest From Computerworld, July 16, 1990, p. 6, by Michael Alexander. CRIME DOESN'T PAY -- HACKERS DO Three hackers pleaded guilty last week to their participation in a scheme to steal documentation for an enhanced 911 emergency telephone system from Bellsouth Corp. The three are members of the Legion of Doom, a group of hackers that has been involved in numerous computer-related crimes, federal prosecutors in Atlanta and chicago said. In Chicago, Robert J. Riggs, 21, pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property and wire fraud charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. Riggs, along with Adam E. Grant, 22, of Atlanta and Franklin E. Darden, 24, of Norcross, Ga., was also indicted in Atlanta last February for conspiracy to commit computer fraud, wire fraud, access-code fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. Riggs and Darden each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit computer fraud. Both face a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Grant pleaded guilty to having 15 or more Bellsouth access codes with the intent to defraud. Sentencing has been set for Sept. 14. "That is when the fireworks will start," said Kent Alexander, assistant U.S. attorney in Atlanta. "There is a distinct possibility that this may be one of the first instances of a hacker [Riggs] going to jail." In an indictment last February, federal authorities alleged that in September 1988, Riggs and Craig Neidorf, an electronic newsletter publisher, began a scheme to steal documentation to an enhanced 911 system from Bellsouth. Riggs downloaded the text file in December 1988 and posted it on a computer bulletin board in Lockport, Ill., the indictment said. Neidorf allegedly retrieved the 911 program from the Lockport bulletin board service, edited the document and reposted it on the bulletin board for Riggs to review. Neidorf has admitted to publishing an edited version of 911 documentation along with information on how to alter telephone switching software so that calls are put into an endless loop. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently set to go to trial next week. Neidorf contends that he was not aware that the 911 documentation had been stolen, said Sheldon Zenner, his attorney. "There is only one guy here who has not broken into anything, and that is Craig Neidorf." However, government documents asserted that Neidorf was involved in the scheme from the outset. According to the plea agreement between Riggs and federal authorities, Riggs contacted Neidorf and told him that he was transferring a text file stolen from Bellsouth. Also, in an affidavit for a search warrant, a U.S. Secret Service agent alleged that Neidorf admitted to knowing that the 911 documentation was stolen. His edited version of the Bellsouth 911 documentation contained a Bellsouth notice forbidding disclosure of the text file's contents, the agent added. Riggs is expected to testify for the prosecution. (This article was written by Michael Alexander (CW Staff). ******************************************************************** ------------------------------ **END OF CuD #1.24** ********************************************************************


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