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Teenager charged with computer hacking

March 8, 2000
Web posted at: 10:11 p.m. EST (0311 GMT)


In this story:

Pro-drug messages on an anti-drug Web site

Teen may be tried as an adult

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



WOLFEBORO, New Hampshire -- Federal authorities arrested a 17-year-old New Hampshire high school dropout Wednesday and charged him with hacking into a California Web site.

Dennis M. Moran, who calls himself "Coolio" on the Internet, was arrested at his parents' home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on felony charges for allegedly gaining unauthorized access to a DARE.com computer system in Los Angeles.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

Moran surrendered without incident and was charged as an adult with two counts of unauthorized access to a computer system. Each charge carries up to 15 years in prison.

He was released on $5,000 bail, and no arraignment was set.

Pro-drug messages on anti-drug Web site

Moran allegedly gained unauthorized access to the anti-drug Web site on two occasions last November, New Hampshire Attorney General Philip T. McLaughlin said.

He said Moran allegedly defaced the site with pro-drug messages and images, including one of Donald Duck with a hypodermic syringe in his arm.

The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles division of the FBI conducted the initial investigation.

When they discovered that the computer intrusion at DARE had originated in New Hampshire, they referred the case to the FBI's New England office and to New Hampshire authorities, an FBI press release said.

Teen may be tried as an adult

Moran's home computer was confiscated several weeks ago by the FBI, an official in Los Angeles said.

Rather than seeking the extradition of a minor to California, authorities charged Moran as an adult in New Hampshire, where he allegedly used his computer to infiltrate the Web site.

Moran may face more charges: It has been reported that someone using the name "Coolio" and "Mafia Boy" used an Internet chat room to claim responsibility for interruptions last month in the computer systems of yahoo.com, ebay.com, buy.com and several other large Web sites.

"Coolio," however, is a popular name on the Internet. Moran has denied involvement in those attacks, referred to in the computer industry as "distributed denial of service" attacks, or DDOS.

But the charges against Moran filed Wednesday involved "unauthorized access" to a computer system, and not a DDOS.

CNN's Susan Reed contributed to this report



RELATED STORIES:
'Coolio' denies February attacks; LAPD plans charges
March 3, 2000
FBI smokes out "Coolio" in computer attacks probe
March 2, 2000
Net crime does pay for cops
February 24, 2000
The coming privacy divide
February 24, 2000
Internet2 team seeks speedy apps
February 24, 2000
Insufficient computer security threatens doing business online
February 23, 2000
Avoiding future denial-of-service attacks
February 23, 2000
FBI investigation swamped with tips, continue to seek Midwest 'Coolio'
February 16, 2000

RELATED SITES:
FBI Home Page
National Infrastructure Protection Center: CyberNotes
HNN - HackerNewsNetwork


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