DEBRA W. YANG
United States Attorney
Central District of
February 15, 2005
COMPUTER HACKER WHO VICTIMIZED T-MOBILE PLEADS GUILTY IN LOS ANGELES FEDERAL COURT
Nicholas Lee Jacobsen, 22, pleaded guilty this morning in United States District Court in Los Angeles to gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer and recklessly causing at least $5,000 in loss to one or more victims, including T-Mobile, Inc., a telecommunications company.
Jacobsen, a sophisticated computer "hacker," was originally charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on October 26, 2004 for gaining unauthorized access to a T-Mobile computer. Jacobsen was arrested by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service on October 26, 2004 and was released on bond by a United States Magistrate Judge. On November 23, 2004, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Jacobsen with two counts of computer hacking.
Earlier today, Jacobsen appeared before United States District Judge George H. King in Los Angeles and pleaded guilty to count two of the indictment, which charged him with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A)(ii), intentional access to a protected computer and recklessly causing damage. Jacobsen faces a maximum possible sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for May 16, 2005.
The case against Jacobsen is the product of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. In addition, T-Mobile executives and computer specialists provided significant cooperation in the swift investigation and prosecution of Jacobsen.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Wesley L. Hsu Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section (213) 894-3045
Release No. 05-030
Federal Criminal Complaint & Indictment
Courtesy of Central District Attorney of California Office
Federal Criminal Complaint Pages 26 – 41
"…Later that day, the CI met Myth and another person who was using the online nickname “anyonman” in an IRC chat room. During that three-way conversation: a. “Anyonman” stated that he had obtained information from numerous Secret Service documents.b. “Anyonman” thereafter showed the CI numerous USSS documents (through pasting them into the chat).c. “Anyonman” then told the CI that the computer at IP address 188.8.131.52 was “interesting,” and identified that address as belonging to the United State Secret Service
New York field office. After checking online database and Secret Service records, I know that IP address 184.108.40.206 is registered to a Secret Service computer in the New York Field Office Electronics Crimes Task Force. In particular, that IP address is registered to a computer used by USSS Special Agent Peter
Cavicchia.. From speaking with Peter Cavicchia, I know that he has a T-Mobile account which:
a. He has used to access his work computer at IP address 220.127.116.11. b. Automatically received email forwarded from his personal “mac” account, at firstname.lastname@example.org. On August 2, 2004, the CI contacted a person using the online nickname “Ethics.” Based on the CI’s extensive involvement with the Shadowcrew criminal organization, the CI knows that “Ethics” is a “vendor” in the Shadowcrew
organization. During their conversation: a. The CI asked “Ethics” whether he was the person using the nickname “anyonman” earlier that day. When the CI raised that possibility, Ethics proceeded to paste text
conversation intercepted from SA Cavicchia’s T-Mobile e-mail account, including conversations that explicitly referenced Cavicchia. A few days later, on August 5, 2004, the CI and Ethics again spoke, and Ethics asked if the CI had a proxy server that he/she could use. When the CI asked Ethics why he needed a proxy, Ethics responded, “[t]o browse and log into a site with the credentials of a USSS Agent.” Under the direction
of USSS agents the CI was instructed to configure a computer that was controlled by agents of the Newark Field Office. The CI then gave Ethics the IP address of the undercover USSS computer and the appropriate port number which would allow Ethics to access the computer. Later that day, USSS observed the following:
a. Ethics used the proxy supplied to him by the CI. b. We observed Ethics use the undercover proxy computer to log into http://mail.sidekick.dngr.com, which is the 21 web server computer used by T-Mobile to store its customers’ information, and attempt to log into the SA Cavicchia’s compromised personal email account with T-Mobile. It was later determined that the sensitive USSS information was stored on the T-Mobile/Danger servers. c. We also observed Ethics attempt to log into email@example.com, which is the personal email account of SA Cavicchia to which Cavicchia’s T-Mobile e-mail account automatically forwards any T-Mobile email. On or about October 19, 2004, Ethics sent a private message to the CI which contained a link that provides unauthorized access to the T-Mobile database. This link allows a user to input a phone number ultimately allowing access to the user’s personal information. Ethics also instructed the CI to be
extremely careful with this type of information. Furthermore, Ethics provided our CI with the direct access to SA Cavicchia’s T-Mobile account. Probable Cause to Believe “Ethics” Is JACOBSEN…"
Ex Agent Peter Cavicchia
Courtesy of Central District Attorney of California Office
Al Jazeera Case
Associated Press 09:30 AM Aug, 29, 2006
A hacker who infiltrated the network of T-Mobile USA and gained access to the personal information of hundreds of customers, including a Secret Service agent, was sentenced Monday to one year of home detention.
Nicholas Lee Jacobsen, 23, must also pay $10,000 in restitution to T-Mobile to cover losses caused by his acts, which took place in 2004.
The former Santa Ana, California resident who now lives in Oregon said he lacked "comprehension and maturity" when he targeted the network of Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile USA, uncovering the names and Social Security numbers of 400 customers.
"I did some very stupid things," Jacobsen told U.S. District Judge George King at his sentencing Monday in Los Angeles.
Jacobsen was able to read some sensitive information that Special Agent Peter Cavicchia could obtain through his wireless T-Mobile Sidekick device. No investigations were compromised, the Secret Service said.
"What you've done is very dangerous to others. Maybe you didn't fully appreciate that, perhaps because of your youth," King told Jacobsen Monday.
Jacobsen could have faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the crime, accessing a protected computer.