The popularity of MySpace makes it prime picking for hackers - and when you have hacking skills, what better way to earn a few extra bucks than through extortion? In a recent news story, that's what two hacking teens thought, to the tune of $150,000: "Teens arrested in alleged MySpace extortion scam."
According to the story, "The alleged crimes began late last year when the two young men [Shaun Harrison, 18, and Saverio Mondelli, 19, both of whom are from Suffolk County, N.Y.] took advantage of a flaw they had discovered in the MySpace Web site in order to obtain personal information on MySpace users...
"Harrison and Mondelli, both programmers, operated a Web site called MySpacePlus.com... The Web site looks to be a storefront for SpyFuse, which appears to be a tool that can be used to manipulate MySpace. A statement on the Web site says the tool is currently unavailable due to an 'unexpected legal complication.'"Both teens were charged with multiple felony counts, including "illegal computer access, sending a threatening letter for extortion, and attempted extortion." If convicted, they could receive up to four years in prison. Talk about going from the World Wide Web to a very tiny TheirSpace, which could very well be the confining dimensions of a prison cell!
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.