Feeds

Axe-wielding Texans savage oak tree, post pics, get caught

Illegal loggers fingered by own website

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Updated One guiding principle of committing the perfect crime is to leave or no evidence of the misdemeanour. A good set of prints on the murder weapon or a size-ten shoeprint in the flowerbed will not help your case when the Feds come hammering on your door.

Sadly, the five Texas men who took an axe to an oak tree in Austin completely ignored this criminal tenet when one of them posted a full photo spread of the outrage on his website. Three of the five are core members of the distributed.net cryptography project, used by 60,000 computer users worldwide.

According to The Austin American Statesman, Jeffrey Lawson, 25, Daniel Baker, 20, and David McNett, 32 - and two unknown accomplices - assaulted the tree at Riata Apartment Homes in Northwest Austin on 1 Jan 2002. Sixteen months later a Riata employee "stumbled across" the incriminating snaps on Baker's website and the police dragnet closed in.

Local residents are suitably furious about this piece of malicious deforestation. The three felons must take some comfort from the fact that they have chopped down the one thing from which they might otherwise have been dancing the Tyburn jig - as is the local custom in Texas for a range of offences from horse worrying to eating cherries on the Sabbath.

Instead, they face charges of criminal mischief, punishable by up to two years in the penitentiary.

Three of the five are key members of the crypto cracking project distributed.net founded in 1997, which boasts tens of thousands of users. The 'firing line' lists the group's leaders as Daniel "dbaker" Baker, Network Operations, David "nugget" McNett, Statistics, and Jeff "Bovine" Lawson, who wrote the code for the proxy. The non-profit org.founded in 1997 in response to the RSA Lab's RC5 cracking challange. Thousands of PCs each process a portion of the code required to crack they key. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.