Comcast hackers get 18 months in prison

They redirected Comcast Web traffic in a May 2008 incident

Two hackers convicted of defacing Comcast's website two years ago were sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison.

Christopher Lewis, 20, and Michael Nebel, 28, were part of a telephone hacking group called Kryogeniks that took control of the Comcast.net website in May 2008.

After taking over an account used to manage Comcast's Domain Name System information, they redirected visitors to their own website for several hours. Comcast.net drew about 5 million visitors per day at the time.

During the incident, visitors who went to the site were greeted with the message "KRYOGENICS Defiant and EBK RoXed Comcast. sHouTz to VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven."

The two men were sentenced Friday by Judge Robert Kelly in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Lewis, also known as EBK, and Nebel, a.k.a. Slacker, must also pay almost US$90,000 in restitution to Comcast.

A third hacker, James Black, who also goes by the name Defiant, was sentenced last month to four months in prison.

The attack was one of several in recent years that have shown how weak controls over corporate DNS accounts can lead to major problems. Earlier this year, Chinese search giant Baidu was taken offline in a similar hack.

In the case of Comcast, the hackers used social engineering techniques to trick an employee into giving them information that helped them access Comcast's DNS account with Network Solutions.

According to Black's plea agreement in March this year, the Kryogeniks crew gained administrative access to the Network Solutions account on May 27, 2008, and redirected Comcast traffic to their own website.

It cost Comcast about $90,000 to recover from the attack.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags U.S. Department of Justicesecuritylegalcomcastinternetcybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?