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Hero Hacker puts ex-judge in prison

Slashdot notes that an anonymous hero hacker has had success planting software on criminals PC's to track their illegal behavior.  He was responsible for bringing several web criminals to justice, all from his basement.

This article notes that the child embedded a trojan horse in an image, downloading his monitoring package onto the bad guts PC:

"And it began as a game.

"I was just playing around with this program I wrote. I wanted to see how it worked. Then I got way more curious about what these people were doing. It's exciting to see something you build actually work. It means I have actually helped out. It challenges me and makes me work," said Mr. Willman, now 21.

The program, disguised as an image, allowed him to retrieve anything -- undetected -- once downloaded. He posted the image on several usenet groups used by pedophiles. In reality, the downloaded image was simply one retrieved from the user's own hard drive.

Some 3,000 users around the world downloaded the Trojan Horse program-- giving him full control of targeted computers.

"Then, I would stay up late at night to see what I could drag out of their computers, which turned out to be more than I expected. I could read all of their e-mails without them knowing. As far as they were concerned, they didn't know their e-mails had even been opened."

This anonymous hero used his talent for good:

"The motive behind his investigations was always to protect children "who can't protect themselves."

He often ignored police threats of arrest and instead pressed ahead, particularly in the case of Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline.

After reading the judge's electronic diary, he concluded it showed an apparent plot to sexually exploit young boys at a private health club.

"Sure, a violation of privacy you must cry, but if you have nothing hurting kids, the future of the world, then there's no reason to worry as that is all that Omni-Potent protects,"

The hero hacker closes with a wise statement:

"Technology is everyone's enemy whether they realize it or not."



 

 
 
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