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Canadian juvenile charged in connection with February 'denial of service' attacks

April 18, 2000
Web posted at: 11:28 p.m. EDT (0328 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Canadian juvenile has been arrested and charged in connection with the so-called "denial of service" attacks in February against some of the Web's most high profile sites, CNN has learned.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the arrest involves a Canadian juvenile who goes by the computer name "mafiaboy."

The individual is believed to have played a role in the attack against, and investigators are continuing to examine whether he played a role in other attacks.

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    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a written statement that charges were brought Monday "against a person stemming from cyber-attacks that were launched in the beginning of the month of February 2000 in the United States against many Internet sites, namely, Yahoo!, EBay,, Excite and Etrade."

    The statement did not specify what the charges were. It said the charges were brought as part of a wide-ranging investigation that involved the Computer Investigation and Support Unit of the RCMP in Montreal, the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department and the National Infrastructure Protection Center.

    A news conference is planned for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the RCMP headquarters in Montreal.

    In mid-February, Internet Direct, a Canadian Internet Service Provider, was interviewed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which took a lead role in the overall investigation. Mafiaboy had two accounts on an ISP acquired by Internet Direct. A representative for Internet Direct said the accounts were canceled for terms of service violations.

    Mafiaboy will be charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was expanded in 1996 to cover all computers used in commerce. It prohibits the unauthorized access to obtain information, the transmission of anything that causes damage, fraud and extortion. Penalties can include up to 6 months in jail or 10 years for a repeat offender and twice the gross monetary loss to the victim.

    One other arrest has occurred in connection with the investigation. Dennis Moran, a 17-year-old high school dropout who went by the handle "Coolio," was arrested in March in a Web site defacement case.

    Moran is alleged to have gained unauthorized access to the DARE anti-drug site. He was charged as an adult with two counts of unauthorized access to a computer system and was released on bail.

    The February 8 attack on slowed the site's news operations for nearly two hours, according to a CNN spokesperson.

    The attack on CNN Interactive marked the first major hack on the site since it launched in August 1995.

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    Electronic Privacy Information Center
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Government of Canada Site

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