Hacker Coolio Arrested in New Hampshire;

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Hacker Coolio Arrested in New Hampshire; May Be Involved With DOS Attacks

Updated 4:41 p.m. ET (2141 GMT) March 2, 2000 By K.S. O'Donoghue Felony vandalism and defacement charges will be filed with the Los Angeles district attorney early next week against a 17-year-old computer vandal known as "Coolio," the LAPD said. "We intend to file charges next week," Detective Micheal Brausam of the LAPD's Computer Crimes Unit told FOXNews.com. He said the boy admitted to hacking the Dare.org site which is based in Brausam's jurisdiction and also two other sites, RSA.com and government-run CWC.gov.

Brausam said Coolio is still "under investigation for last month's DOS (denial of service) attacks" which kept legitimate users from accessing CNN.com, Yahoo! and Amazon.com among other top sites. Coolio denies attacking those sites.

Charges will be brought on state and federal levels. He may also have to pay restitution of nearly $20,000 and will likely be banned from computer use for some period, if not for life, if convicted.

"In California, he is facing anywhere from felony probation to time in a juvenile facility, but if charged in New Hampshire he will be tried as an adult and possibly faces 5 to 10 years," Brausam said.

Brausam said the boy is a "very capable" hacker and his ability should not be underestimated because of his age.

"He has admitted he has compromised somewhere near 100 Web sites ... he is 17 but he spends 16 hours a day on the computer and has been using a computer since he was 3," Brausam said, adding because of Coolio's background in PERL, Linux and C++, "he is capable of doing the kind of DOS attacks that occurred."

Brausam said after the Dare.org site was hacked in December 1999, he used the Internet to find a site in Arizona where Coolio allegedly was storing information. A search warrant served on site led to his identity and Brausam then teamed up with the Boston FBI and served search and arrest warrants at Coolio's New Hampshire home.

"He admitted to hacking the sites to the Boston FBI, but he didn't get into a bigger plan," Brausam said, noting some of the alleged hacker's friends told the media Coolio had a grand delusion of "taking down the Net."

In his defacement of CWC.gov, a chemical weapons site, Coolio included a death threat to the president, which forced the Secret Service to join the investigation.

An archive at attrition.org has the hacked site saying: "If prayers do not become mandatory throughout the United States, we will detonate our nuclear bombs and your President Clinton and his interns will die."

The Secret Service left the case to the FBI after apparently deciding a juvenile was not a threat.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), March 02, 2000

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