Feeds

US mayor and son charged with hacking into opposition site

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

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.