It seems like hackers can’t keep their ego in check. Another hacker got arrested for bragging his feats.
John Anthony Borell III of Utah was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as they have evidences that linked him to two hacking incidents last January. The first attack was directed at the Salt Lake City Police Department website where 473 records containing police officers’ usernames, hashed passwords, full names, titles, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers were acquired and published in Pastebin. The attack caused $33,000 in damages. The second attack was directed at the Utah Chiefs of Police Association website which amounted to $150,000 in damages. The hack acquired e-mail address, and hashed password for 24 Utah chiefs of police and were all published.
Borell was arrested last March 20 and is now facing two counts of computer intrusion involving SQL injection attacks. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In February, the FBI sent a search warrant to Twitter requesting information on the following accounts: @ItsKahuna, @Anonw0rmer, and @cabincr3w.
“On March 2, 2012, Twitter provided information for the above accounts … [including] IP addresses used by the accounts, all Twitter messages sent using the accounts, direct messages sent to and from the accounts, and basic user information for the accounts, such as the email address that created the account,” said FBI special agent Eric Zimmerman in the complaint he submitted in court.
With the information from Twitter, they began tracing the activities of the Twitter accounts who they believe were hackers. Back in December, ItsKahuna tweeted “Neighbors I thank you for installing a new router today and choosing WEP to protect it. I much appreciate the extra bandwidth for torrents.” And when they traced the IP, they conducted a surveillance and found that Borell lived “approximately 312 feet” away from the residence of the IP address used in the attacks.
Aside from that, they found direct messages from ItsKahuna to various people bragging how he got started in hacking, how many attacks he was part of and even sent links to photos of himself to someone who goes by the name “anon_cutie”.
ItsKahuna communicated constantly with a certain “MissAnonFatale” which brags in her Twitter profile that she’s engaged with Anonw0rmer. Anonw0rmer is believed to be Higinio O. Ochoa III–a hacker who got arrested because he used a bikini-clad photo of his girlfriend, that contained GPS information, in taunting the authorities.
Information acquired from Twitter, like his physical description plus the “Kahuna Pentagon Leak Log” posted to Pastebin, were enough for the FBI to conclude that ItsKahuna is Borell. IT was further evidenced by the chat transcript between ItsKahuna and someone who uses the handle “Presstorm” where ItsKahuna bragged that it pays to have his father as his lawyer and the connections that comes with it.
Borell’s father is a lawyer but told Ars Technica that he will not be representing his son in court and gave no further comments.
The FBI document also stated that they received tips which helped them tie Borell to other attacks.
“The tips stated Borell has participated in numerous government agency intrusions as well as the leaking of classified documents,” Zimerman stated in the report. ”Borell was active in anonops (Anonymous operations) and has aided in the hacking of multiple individuals as well. The tips further claimed that Borell was the lead in the satiagraha leaks of Brazilian files and hosted them on his website, satiagrahaleaks.org, and had been in contact with Sabu.”
Sabu is the leader of the hacking group LulzSec which created lot of chaos in the internet. Apparently, Sabu, real name Hector Xavier Monsegur, logged into a chatroom, once or twice, without disguising his IP address so the authorities were able to track him and led to his arrest. Monsegur worked with the FBI as an asset which led to the arrest of other hackers.
It’s just funny how people who don’t want to be identified can be so careless in keeping their anonymity. And bragging just makes it worse. Even if you cover your tracks, if you can’t keep your mouth shut, or your fingers from typing your hacking accomplishments, then you better be prepared for some jail time. With hackers like Borell and Ochoa, it seems like hacking for a purpose, or hacktivism is dying. It’s like they hack because they can and they hack for the recognition, not because they’re fighting for something.