The Mounties have their man. According to the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, a Canadian youth who goes by the handle “Mafiaboy” has been
arrested and charged with attacking high-profile Web sites, including
CNN.com, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon.com, Excite and E*trade.
A statement released by the RCMP notes that charges were brought Monday
“against a person stemming from cyber-attacks that were launched in the
beginning of the month of February 2000 against many Internet sites.”
Although the statement did not specify precisely what the charges are, it
did say that the allegations are part of a wide-ranging investigation that
involves the Computer Investigation and Support Unit of the RCMP in
Montreal, the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department and the National
Infrastructure Protection Center.
Mafiaboy will be charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which
was expanded in 1996 to cover all computers used in commerce. It prohibits
the unauthorized access to obtain information, the transmission of anything
that causes damage, fraud and extortion. Penalties can include up to six
months in jail or 10 years for a repeat offender and twice the gross
monetary loss to the victim.
A news conference is planned for 10:30 a.m. today at RCMP headquarters in
The RCMP investigation also has led to the incarceration of Dennis Moran,
a.k.a. “Coolio,” a 17-year-old high-school dropout. Arrested in March, Moran
was charged as an adult for Web site defacement to the DARE anti-drug site.
He faces two counts of unauthorized access to a computer system and has been
released on bail.
The investigation has given authorities the opportunity to bring light on
Internet attacks that have strongly shaken the heart of electronic commerce
worldwide causing losses that were evaluated at hundreds of millions in U.S. dollars.