February 28th, 2003, 12:38 PM
Hacker convicted of extortion of NYC Mayor: CNN Story
You know, it's twits like this that give "hackers" a bad name.
Jury: Hacker tried to shake down mayor
NEW YORK (AP) -- A jury Wednesday convicted a Kazakhstan man of trying to extort $200,000 from Mayor Michael Bloomberg by threatening to reveal secrets stolen from Bloomberg's financial information company.
Bloomberg was the star witness against computer hacker Oleg Zezov, 29.
Zezov, who yelled obscenities at prosecutors and made other outbursts during his trial, drooped his head as the verdict was read. The computer specialist could get 20 years in prison at sentencing May 23.
The extortion scheme took place before Bloomberg was elected mayor.
Prosecutors said Zezov sent Bloomberg e-mails claiming he had full access to his company's computer system. Bloomberg met Zezov in London in 2000 in a sting set up by law enforcement authorities. Zezov was arrested at the meeting.
Robert Baum, Zezov's lawyer, argued that his client was merely trying to be paid for alerting Bloomberg to a security flaw in the computer system.
Baum said he will appeal on the grounds that the jury was prejudiced by Zezov's outbursts.
February 28th, 2003, 02:21 PM
Hmm, I don't think the whole story is being told here. 20 years for extortion? fraud?
Well hell if a child pornoographer, rapist and even murderers get less than thatm what the hell is this world coming to?
Hell I know a guy who robbed several banks and only got 15 years. I also know a guy who robbed someone with a weapon, and only got 3 years for it.
This goes to show that money is held higher than life in America. This also holds true for the escaluating situations in Iraq.
February 28th, 2003, 02:34 PM
You didn't read it correctly. It said he could get 20 years. That's the maximum on that particular offense. Doesn't mean he will spend 20 years in prison for it.
And you are right. Probably not the whole story. Given that the guy is from Kazakhstan I wonder if that has added to their concerns.
Nothing is simple but neither is the "hacker's" claim that he was "alerting Bloomberg to a security flaw in the computer system." And $200K for a security flaw seems a bit high. Unless he was hired by Bloomberg to specifically look for the flaw then he broke into the systems.
March 1st, 2003, 07:14 AM
Yeah it dawned on me that it could be 20 yrs in prison.. but for pete's sake thats alot. Compared to what other crimes are like.. a maximal of 15 years for kidnapping..
March 1st, 2003, 12:32 PM
I think it's because extortion is usually found with kidnapping. Besides, what the laws determines as the final punishment is what the law determines. It may seem like a lot in the sense that he is using a computer but remember that extortion previously was what say a thug (usually "Family" types) did to have a store owner get "protection" or "insurance". That was how the law was created. The law hasn't been updated and quite honestly I don't know if it should be changed just because he used a computer.
Think how easy it is to get information. Online blackmail could be incredible and all based on falsehoods or what-have-you. People believe what they read online whether it's the truth or not. People will believe anything if told enough times.
In this case, I find that the "hacker" is claiming he did it for noble reasons but please. He just adds to the reasoning of Microsoft's, which is, don't publish vulnerabilities.