Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Indicted Federal Informant Allegedly Strong-Armed Hacker Into Caper That Drew 9-Year Sentence

Kevin Poulsen writes on Threat Level:

Four years after pleading guilty to an abortive scheme to steal customer credit card numbers from the Lowe's hardware chain, hacker Brian Salcedo learned from prison last week that a co-conspirator who pressured him to go through with the hack attack was working for the feds at the time.

Salcedo, 25, is serving a record-breaking nine-year prison term for a 2003 intrusion into Lowe's corporate network. Salcedo and another hacker had parked outside a Lowe's in Southfield, Michigan and tapped into the store's unsecured WiFi network. Over the course of weeks, they used their foothold to penetrate Lowe's servers at stores across the country, where they eventually planted software that would sniff and store customer credit card numbers as they flew from cash registers to a processing server in North Carolina.

The hackers' downfall was seemingly straightforward. According to court records, Lowe's detected an intrusion and called in the FBI, who staked out the Southfield store's parking lot and eyeballed Salcedo and his partner working from a Pontiac Grand Prix. Salcedo pleaded guilty without even looking at the thousands of pages of "discovery" in the case -- the government's evidence.

More here.


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