Feeds

US mayor and son charged with hacking into opposition site

We'd rather be fending off global cyberwar, sniff Feds

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A small town US mayor and his son have been arrested over allegations they hacked into a website calling for his recall.

Dr Felix Roque, 55, the mayor of West New York, New Jersey, and Joseph Roque, 22, of Passaic County, allegedly hacked into recallroque.com and illegally accessed e-mails in February. Joseph Roque is accused of gaining control of the administrative email account associated with the dot-com before interacting with its web host, Go Daddy, to shut the site down, The New York Times reports.

The father and son team also "sought to identify, intimidate and harass" those who operated the website and other critics of Roque's administration, the Department of Justice alleged:

By the late afternoon of February 8, 2012, Joseph Roque had successfully hacked into various online accounts used in connection with the recall website. Joseph Roque then used that access to disable the website. Mayor Roque harassed and attempted to intimidate several individuals whom he had learned were associated with the recall website.

The pair face conspiracy and computer hacking charges over the alleged political dirty tricks. Both charges carry possible fines on conviction of up to $250,000 and the risk of a substantial spell behind bars. The alleged abuse of public trust involved in the case means the charges are being treated especially seriously.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward commented: "In this instance, an elected official conspired to hack into a website and email account.

"It's incredibly disappointing that resources have to be diverted from protecting the US against cyber intrusions targeting critical infrastructure, federally funded research and military technology, to address a public official intruding into computer systems to further a political agenda."

US Attorney Paul Fishman added: "The elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the internet to exercise their Constitutional rights to criticise the government."

Mayor Roque only gained office last year after leading a successful recall against the previous mayor, Sal Vega, and beating him in the subsequent election. West New York has a population of 50,000 and is located around seven miles from Manhattan. It's unclear whether or not Roque, who describes himself as an "independent conservative democrat", intends to resign as a result of the charges, The Jersey Journal reports. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.