11|20|2009 03:59 pm EDT
Three hackers — Christopher Allen Lewis, 19, James Robert Black Jr., 20, and Michael Paul Lebel, 28 — have been hit with a federal conspiracy charge this week due to their involvement in the 2008 hijacking of Comcast.net – a prank that took down the cable company’s homepage and email service for more than five hours and supposedly cost the company over $128,000.
According to the indictment, the hackers gained control of the Comcast.net domain along with 200 other domains with two phone calls to Network Solutions, the company’s domain registrar, as well as one email sent from a hacked Comcast email account.
This gave them entry to the Network Solutions control panel for all of Comcast’s domains.
Then, after changing the contact information for Comcast.net, the hackers phoned Comcast’s original technical contact to tell him what they’d done. When the Comcast manager scoffed at their claims, the hackers decided to take it a step further and redirect the site’s traffic to servers that were under their control.
The hackers are being charged under the US. Code for fraud and related activity in connection with computers.
“I wish I was a minor right now,” said hacker James Robert Black Jr., “because this is going to be really bad.”