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Teens Arrested in MySpace Extortion Scam 193

An anonymous reader writes "Two New York teens have been arrested after trying to extort $150,000 from the makers of MySpace, the popular online community site." From the article: " MySpace discovered the intrusion earlier this year and blocked it. The Los Angeles-based company also reported the incident to authorities. During the course of the investigation, threats were made that unless $150,000 was paid, new exploit code would be released, according to the statement. By this time, the sting operation had been set up, so instead of meeting with MySpace late last week, the pair from New York met with undercover officers from the U.S. Secret Service and the Los Angeles District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation. "
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Teens Arrested in MySpace Extortion Scam

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <> on Saturday May 27, 2006 @04:42PM (#15417286) Journal

    So, two kids hacked MySpace, and threatened further damage unless they were given $150,000, but cry "foul" when lured into a job offer/interview for the purpose of arresting them.

    I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet extortion dollars thay MySpace would not bother luring people into their space if no extortion were there in the first place.

    It's pretty amazing how criminals (alleged) cry about violated rights when apprehended. Yeah, there are constitutional procedures to guide law enforcement and judicial, thank goodness for that.

    I don't see, assuming these are the kids who did hack MySpace, any impropriety nor violation of their "space".

  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tbmcmullen ( 940544 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @04:52PM (#15417342)
    Yeah, because only American kids think they can get away with anything and are selfish.
    Thats just plain stupid.
  • by Foo2rama ( 755806 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:02PM (#15417383) Homepage Journal
    Don't mess with Tom!!!! Luckily he is my friendslist, so he is my friend right?

    Sad thing is I can think of about 3 ways right now to bring myspace down at least from a users standpoint. The openess of css usage they allow, plus there is a great little expliot making the rounds after you clicked on an outsidelink it takes some actions on your account to propagate itself. You could make a nice cascading corrupted CSS plague, forcing all user pages to crash any browser.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:20PM (#15417461)
    So, two kids hacked MySpace, and threatened further damage unless they were given $150,000, but cry "foul" when lured into a job offer/interview for the purpose of arresting them.

    Nothing in the article says anything about them 'crying foul'. It mentions that they're pleading 'not guilty' to the charges but nothing else about their reaction.
  • by Nadsat ( 652200 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:28PM (#15417496) Homepage
    Too bad these hackers were not more interesting. They seem to be simple data miners out for a buck. Script kiddies these day....
  • by dagr8tim ( 866860 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:30PM (#15417509) Homepage
    It's pretty amazing how criminals (alleged) cry about violated rights when apprehended.

    What about the guy who was held hostage [] in his own home by 5 Sheriff Deputies while they dunked his head in a fish tank and a toilet, connected batteries/live electrical wires to his genetals, and put a gun to his head in an attempt to force him to sign a waver to allow them to search his home without a warrent. Funny thing was his wife set a tape recorder in the kitchen before being ordered out of the house.

    Ofcouse that was over a year ago and the guy has since been conviced [] of unrelated drug charges. Are you saying that because this guy was a drug dealing peice of scum the police were allowed to violate his civil rights?
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laffer1 ( 701823 ) <luke AT foolishgames DOT com> on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:31PM (#15417513) Homepage Journal
    And? Blogging lowers my stress levels. I get to talk about how shitty my day was and a few people close to me may read it and then we'll have a dialog. If not, i put it somewhere and i can let it go. Not just teens blog. I'm in my late 20s. My mother has a blog too.

    Frankly i have less of a problem with blogging than the governments privacy violations with the telephone network. I choose to blog, I didn't choose to let them listen to my calls or view the list of people I called.

    Blogging isn't a breakdown in society, its just a new way to communicate information to people you know. (and don't know)
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:37PM (#15417540) Homepage
    In the end, services like MySpace is one of the signs of the decline of society as a whole.

    Look at it, people no longer care about privacy as they are publishing every single aspect of their daily lives for everyone to read about, including things like "My boyfriend dumped me today! I wanna die!"

    Since when is a society on the decline when people can express themselves freely without any serious repercussions? The only use for privacy is protection against intolerant people, so societies where people voluntarily do not make use of it are probably very tolerant of individuals. I might have missed a few developments, but I always thought that kind of freedom is one of the things we consider to be a fundamental values of ours?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:39PM (#15417548)
    Hacking up some javescript isn't exactly "computer science".
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:47PM (#15417595)
    Not to sound like a jerk, but you're dead wrong. "American kids thinking that they can get away with anything, interested solely in themselves, and getting something for nothing." If you said "almost everyone" instead of "American kids", I would have agreed with you, but I have problems with both the "American" and the "kid" parts.

    First off, the easy one -- kids. Kids are NOT the only people who try to get away with anything, are interested solely in themselves, or try to get something for nothing -- here are a couple good ones: licopter_fireworks (a woman shoots fireworks at a police helicopter because it was annoying her by being there -- now she's charged with a felony), _strangle_dc (a defendant on trial for murder tries to strangle his own lawyer IN THE COURTROOM), (a couple steals sex toys and enhancement pills repeatedly from an adult store, they end up being caught on one of their many return trips and when they are caught, the "goods" are in a bag NEXT TO THEIR 3 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER),
    and last but not least - EVERY drunk driver EVER.

    Now for the "American" part. Stupidity is not a trait restricted to Americans -- PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE IDIOTS: der/2100-7348_3-6002302.html?tag=html.alert (A German child pornographer turns himself in after getting an e-mail virus telling him he was under investigation.

    And finally, to prove that not just American kids commit crimes -- ws.quirkies.strangecrime (Austrian kids steal a bunch of stuff so they can afford after-school prostitutes).

    I think I've made my point. Sorry, I just get a little riled up when people make broad generalizations with negative connotations.
  • by jdbartlett ( 941012 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @05:48PM (#15417597)
    "First of they are not teens. 18 and 19 makes them adult in america doesn't it?"

    Sorry, could you say that again with numbers in writing? I'll give you a hint: EighTEEN and NineTEEN.

    You are correct that they are adults (legally able to sign a contract). They are also teenagers.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @06:15PM (#15417708) Homepage
    Look at it, people no longer care about privacy as they are publishing every single aspect of their daily lives for everyone to read about, including things like "My boyfriend dumped me today! I wanna die!"

    If they choose to, what harm is there to that? I mean, there are people starting wtih JennaCam and ending at BigBrother who'd like to be in front of a cam 24/7. Great for them. If they want to keep a public diary (read: blog), go ahead. For the most part I consider it a good thing that people aren't that insanely stuck up with their facade (dunno if that's the right english word) and that they live life with their ups and downs, just like everyone else.

    What's important is that things can also be private when you choose to. That you don't feel on display, that people can grope into your private life when you don't want to. If you're a creepy stalker, a marketdroid or the frigging government, I don't like people profiling me, analyzing me, collaborating data. Chances are you'll be able to read out of it more than I want you to. It's well known from intelligence work that a collection of seemingly innocent unclassified information put together can reveal things that are (and should be) classified. Same goes for a personal life.

    Even if there's a "breach" of privacy and things are already public, either because you were bloody drunk, your friends decided it'd be fun to surprise you or use a hidden cam, your ex was bitter or for some other reason it's still private. There are some kinds of mistakes or silly and embarrasing situations you wish would go away, or least limited in scope to some good friends and for a limited time. Good luck with that in a digital world though...
  • Myspace (Score:2, Insightful)

    by certel ( 849946 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @07:16PM (#15417966) Homepage
    And so it begins. Myspace will be the next online target such as the gambling sites were a couple years ago.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by acornboy ( 920113 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @07:47PM (#15418084)
    Yes all teens have selfish tendencies and can be self absorb and haven't developed the capacity to evaluate consequences... so why is it still valid to mention American kids specifically? Because the culture of entitlement has beeen taken to the highest offices of government and the corpoprate world to such an extent that beggars the imagination in comparison to the rest od the so called first world (and most of the rest of the world to!!) this give kids in American an even bigger delusional system to mimic than anywhere else so yeah the kids aren't really to blame, the whole situation is kinda fucked up...
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Saturday May 27, 2006 @07:47PM (#15418085)
    Their "stupid ass lawyer" is just doing his job. Like it or not, one of the drawbacks to having a judicial system that values the rights of the accused, is that the accused will exercise those rights whether or not they are guilty. That is simply the price of justice, and, frankly, I think it's worth it. Due process is not a mere annoyance, nor is the right to confront your accusers -- these things are essential to maintaining a justice system that society can accept. So these kids are probably totally guilty; it is still their lawyer's job to make whatever argument he can that will help them get off.
  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @08:38PM (#15418245) Homepage
    What's the connection between this story and my rights online?
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27, 2006 @09:00PM (#15418316)
    I always thought that kind of freedom is one of the things we consider to be a fundamental values of ours?

    It is. What's gone are modesty, self-consciousness and restraint. People are posting everything, for no reason other than to stroke their own egos or insult others, while the rest of the world just points and laughs.

    Freedom is definately an American trait. It's too bad that personal responsibility and restraint in America - particularly restraint against squandering freedom on narcissistic pursuits, or intimidating and manipulating others in the name of freedom - is on the decline.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @09:44PM (#15418451)
    In the 80's and 90's they were called diary's. You could buy a pretty pink one and hide it under your pillow to relieve your stress.

    To heck with pretty pink ones. Great men have been keeping journals since inexpensive paper came to Europe.

  • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @04:03AM (#15419477)
    The attorney for one of them is attempting to make the claim that they were tricked. That's what they're supposed to do - what they're legally required to do. I think it would be rather unlikely to expect the guy's lawyer to say "Oh, yeah - they tricked my guy. He's too fucking stupid to walk and chew gum, they got him fair and square."

    One of the guys could have clubbed a baby to death on national television with a rolling-pin, and the lawyer would have to find some way to blame it on Martha Stewart because her rolling-pins are deadly weapons and magnetically attracted to babies, and plus, the baby was kind of being a dick, you know.
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @12:28PM (#15420763) Homepage

    Wait... why is rape funny? Oh yeah: because we are as inhumane as anyone we've ever called evil.

    I'm super glad these two pricks got caught. And I am glad they'll be removed from society for a while, or at least financially punished. But I hope they don't get raped, as they would be a) condoning torture, b) likely make them even more problematic members of the society in which I live and c) give an even worse criminal the pleasure of raping.

  • Re:Exactly! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @03:07PM (#15421310)
    Yes, but "doing their best job" is, ideally, not supposed to involve lying, cheating or stealing, nor are they required to perform illegal or unethical activity simply because their idiotic or malicious client requests it. If they do, it's because they want the money that client is paying them. On the other hand, when you hear a defense attorney babbling nonsense about his felonious client's sterling character it's generally an attempt to offset any potential jury/media bias, and that's a very real factor in jury selection and the outcome of a well-publicized trial.
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @04:43PM (#15421659) Homepage
    Nobody here condones or advocates torture.

    I would bet that the majority of people here could care less that there is ongoing rampant rape and physical abuse in US prisons. They may not have a desire for it, but they aren't going to do anything to stop it.

    I understand the desire for karmic balance. Raping a extortionist is not karmic balance.


BLISS is ignorance.