Feeds

WebTV 911 ne'er-do-well pleads guilty

Viewers' PCs dialled emergency services

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.