Feeds

Max Vision hit with hacking charges (again)

Facing 40 years for mass identity theft

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Computer security consultant and convicted cyber intruder Max Butler has been indicted on counts of wire-fraud and identity theft, just five years after being released from prison for hacking into military and defense contractor computers.

Max Butler, 35, of San Francisco (AKA Max Vision, AKA Iceman) was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on three counts of wire fraud and two counts of transferring stolen identify information. Federal authorities allege that he stole "tens of thousands" of credit card numbers and personal information by hacking into financial institutions and credit card processing companies. He could face up to 40 years in prison and a $1.5m fine if convicted of the charges.

Butler was charged in Pittsburgh because he allegedly sold more than 100 credit card numbers to a Pennsylvania resident who cooperated in the investigation, said a spokeswoman for US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. The co-conspirator had told investigators he illegally obtained 1,000 or more credit card numbers a month from Butler.

Authorities also believe Butler operated a website called Cardersmarket, which served as a forum and aid for credit card thieves, according to the Associated Press. Butler currently remains in federal custody in California and will return to Pittsburgh to face the charges.

The indictment alleges that Butler contacted people through email to sell stolen card numbers. Witnesses told agents that Butler moved to various hotel rooms where he would use a high-powered antenna to intercept wireless communications, the AP reports. He would use the information obtained to hack into the institutions. One witness said Butler gained access to the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Citibank and a government employee's computer.

Federal authorities have not yet revealed the exact breadth of the credit card thievery, or if they plan to alert potential victims.

In May 2001, Butler was sentenced in a federal court after pleading guilty to launching an automated intrusion program that cracked hundreds of military and defense contractor computers. Butler admitted to developing the program, which created a back door on the systems he penetrated — which could have been used to gain access at a later date. ®

Bootnote

The US Department of Justice's Cyberethics for Kids page recommends against these practices:

"Some kids think they can't get into trouble for hacking computer systems and that hacking big networks like the phone company, the military, or NASA is harmless fun. But that's not true..."

But gee whiz, I'm really good at computers Mr. Federal Agent.

"If you like computers, don't use your brains to hack systems, invade other people's privacy, and take away their networks. Hacking can get you in a whole lot more trouble than you think and is a completely creepy thing to do."

C-creepy? But maybe I could get a job with computers...

"People are not going to want to hire you to protect computers if you've been a hacker. It's a question of trust, not skill." **

**Results may vary.

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
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
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.