Feeds

US mayor and son charged with hacking into opposition site

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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.