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Notorious eBay hacker gets 3-year suspended sentence

'Vladuz' repeatedly impaled auctioneer's defenses

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Vladuz, the Romanian hacker who repeatedly accessed off-limits parts of eBay's website and then publicly taunted company officials over the security lapses, has been handed a suspended three-year sentence, according to news reports.

The Bucharest appeal court issued the sentence on Wednesday to 23-year-old Vlad Duiculescu, AFP reported. He was arrested in Romania in 2008, with help from US Secret Service agents, after eBay said his exploits caused at least $1 million in damage. He was imprisoned for almost two years before being released last year.

From 2005 to 2007, Duiculescu adopted the moniker Vladuz and repeatedly breached eBay security by accessing parts of the website reserved for company employees. In March 2007, he secured credentials that allowed him to masquerade as an eBay official on company forums, one of which was related to trust and safety. It was at least the third time in as many months he had intruded into restricted sections of the website. The string of attacks fueled suspicions that hackers had gained backdoor access to the site.

The lapses were an embarrassment to eBay officials as they worked to assure customers that the site was secure, but there never was any proof the site was susceptible to a backdoor. It's not clear what Duiculescu did to cause more than $1 million in damage. ®

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