The two hacked into MySpace.com and allegedly threatened to release new exploit code unless MySpace came up with $150,000.
Two New York men were arrested in Los Angeles and charged with trying to extort $150,000 from the popular social networking site MySpace.com, prosecutors announced Wednesday. If convicted, they face prison time.
Shaun Harrison, 18, and Saverio Mondelli,19, both from Long Island's Suffolk County, allegedly hacked MySpace by exploiting a service vulnerability that let them steal users' personal information. MySpace discovered the intrusion, and went to the joint local and federal task force in L.A. that is in charge of investigating computer crimes.
During that investigation, Harrison and Mondelli supposedly threatened to release new exploit code unless MySpace came up with $150,000. The two New Yorkers traveled to California Friday to meet with MySpace employees, but were met instead by undercover agents from the U.S. Secret Service and the L.A. district attorney's office, who arrested them in the sting.
They were arraigned Wednesday and remain in custody, the district attorney's office said in a statement. A preliminary hearing is set for June 5.
Each has been charged with two felony counts of illegal computer access and one count of sending a threatening letter for extortion and attempted extortion. If convicted on all charges, Harrison and Mondelli face more than 4 years in prison.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.