'Anonymous' member indicted for police website hacking

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Court documents show that a 21-year-old Ohio man has been indicted for hacking into the Salt Lake City Police and Utah Police Chiefs websites.
John Borell III
John Borell III
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Court documents show that a 21-year-old Ohio man has been indicted for hacking into the Salt Lake City Police and Utah Police Chiefs websites.

John Anthony Borell III was arrested in late March during the investigation.

Prosecutors allege that Borell is part of the 'Anonymous' hacking group responsible for other intrusions into other state, local, federal and corporate sites in acts of political and social opposition.

Prosecutors say Borell, known by the handle as @ItsKahuna took credit for the attacks on Twitter. Borell's Twitter handle was also associated with the @CabinCr3w group, another loose Internet organization dedicated to cyber-activism.

The Anonymous effort has also been sympathetic with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement that grabbed headlines in the autumn of 2011.

The FBI' Special Agent In Charge says this group is dangerous.

"We do think they're a significant threat and one that needs to be addressed by the FBI," says David Johnson.

Borell was charged with two counts of computer intrusion in a federal indictment unsealed on Monday.

According to the complaint, prosecutors say Borell hacked into the chiefs' website server Jan. 19. The complaint says Borell then broke into the police department's website on Jan. 31.

According to the indictment, the attacks caused more than $185,000 damages.  The administrator for the Utah Chief's website estimates $150,000 in damages.  The hack into the SLCPD site forced police to shut it down for more than a month. A new site was unveiled on Friday.  Their damages are estimated to be $33,000.

Borell was tracked by FBI investigators his Internet address.

Through Twitter, Borell communicated with ABC 4 News just after the hacks occurred.

Under anonymity, Borell took responsibility for the action, and said he did it in response to the anti-graffiti paraphernalia bill sponsored by Senator Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) during the 2012 Utah Legislative session.

A few days later, the bill went down to defeat in the Senate.

The bill gave police authority to arrest people who possessed graffiti paraphernalia.

Through Twitter, Borell wrote of the kind information he might have access to through the hacks.

He responded:

“Anonymous tips, job applications, confidential informant info, narcotics ring operation information."

When asked what was planned for the info, Borell said:

"I will not be releasing the anonymous tips and other confidential data from the site. Not out to endanger innocent people"

But the FBI says Borell's constant tweets and emails helped them find him in Ohio.

"That didn't hurt the investigation of course when people are making comments like that," Johnson says.

Some citizens and police were very concerned about the kind of personal information that was left unsecured by the hackers. Some of the person information may have been from informants who were encouraged to report crimes to police anonymously.

If convicted, Borell faces 10 years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine.


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