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LexisNexis hacker jailed and fined

Celebrity snoop caged

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A Massachusetts hacker who pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit computer fraud and identity theft has been jailed for a year.

Justin A Perras, 20, of New Bedford, was one of five co-defendants who confessed to hacking into the systems of LexisNexis, the law database giant. A combination of social-engineering tricks and malware were used to gain unauthorised access to a law enforcement database called Accurint, maintained by Seisint, a subsidiary of LexisNexis.

The personal details of more than 310,000 people were potentially exposed by the attack, which allowed the perps to exercise their interest in celebrity gossip.

Purloined Accurint login credentials allowed the group to look up police records and other data on various high-profile celebrities. Among those targeted were California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actors Laurence Fishburne and Demi Moore, and Paris Hilton.

Other defendants were sentenced in December 2006 to lesser prison sentences or probation for their roles in the conspiracy. All five have court orders restricting their use of computers in future.

After his spell behind bars, Perras faces three years supervised release and 100 hours of community service after his spell behind bars, the US District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida court decided this week, the South Florida Business Journal reports

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