Feeds

Congressional aide fired after trying to hire hackers

D’oh

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The press attaché of a Montana Congressman has been left red faced after "hackers" he was trying to hire to change his lowly college grades published his email exchanges instead.

Todd Shriber, 28, a press officer for US Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, was looking to persuade hackers to break into the systems of Texas Christian University and change his grades. The motive for his illegal actions was apparently to bolster his academic credentials ahead of a possible run for office.

But Shriber hit on the wrong target for his pleas when he contacted security site attrition.org in early August. Instead of entering negotiations with hackers-for-hire he entered into an exchange of emails with security experts "Lyger" and "Jericho" (AKA "Security Curmudgeon").

Despite being warned that what he proposed was a criminal offence Shriber continued with the plan, little realizing he was been taken for a ride. The 22 email exchange culminated in late August with claims by Lyger that the hack that never was had been detected, who advised Shriber to "duck and run if you can". The exchange was published in September.

But it wasn't until last week that it emerged a would-be political candidate had instigated the attack. Confronted by evidence of the assault, Shriber eventually fessed up to Networkworld. "I did something that's greatly out of character for me and it's a mistake that I regret."

Asked why he dreamt up the scheme in the first place, Shriber said "I just got a little too far ahead of myself thinking about things down the road." His school grades were mediocre, he conceded.

Shriber claimed he was beginning to have second thoughts about the hack, although there's no evidence of this in the email exchanges published by attrition.org.

"A solicitation was made but no action was performed. These are people misrepresenting themselves for a laugh."

Scriber's boss failed to see a funny side to his extra-curricular activities and he was fired last Thursday (21 December).

The perpetrators of the sting have little sympathy for their victim, who they point out was attempting to solicit a criminal offence. "You'll notice that we even intentionally redacted his Social Security number and date of birth in one of the e-mails (on the site)," Lyger told Networkworld. "Pretty ironic that he even sent them since we maintain a data-loss database, Web page, and mailing list." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual 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.