Feeds

WebTV 911 ne'er-do-well pleads guilty

Viewers' PCs dialled emergency services

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A 44-year-old Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to sending an email attachment which reprogrammed MS's WebTV service viewers' computers, causing them to dial 911, the United States Attorney's Office reports.

David Jeansonne 'fessed up to two counts of "intentionally damaging protected computers, causing a threat to public safety and losses of over $5,000" in July 2002. He admitted that "the email attachment contained a hidden computer script that reset the dial-in telephone number in the user's WebTV box to 9-1-1. Accordingly, the next time the user attempted to log in to WebTV, the computer dialed 9-1-1 instead of the local modem telephone number supplied to the user by WebTV to access its servers in Santa Clara. At least 10 WebTV users reported that the local police either called or visited their residences in response to the unnecessary 9-1-1 calls."

The offending email - sent to around 20 WebTV subscribers - claimed that the attachment was "harmless computer program that, when executed, changed the display colors seen by the WebTV user on the television screen".

Jeansonne faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years' jail on each count and a $250,000 fine. He is due in court on 14 March for sentencing. ®

Related stories

WebTV 911 hacker charged with cyberterrorism
WebTV 911 exploit causes confusion
Microsoft plugs inexpensive TV Net access

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?