Arrogant hacker tracked down through Metadata

Here’s a funny development I’ll be watching closely.

This week, a hacker who claimed to operate a remote ‘bot network of thousands of computers was interviewed in the Washington Post. That in itself wasn’t newsworthy enough for me to blog about it, as sadly there are many users who allow this to happen to their home computers without their knowledge by following poor computing practices. This fellow was unique only in that he chose to be interviewed about his alleged violation of federal law. I say alleged only because we don’t know for sure he wasn’t bluffing about what he’d done in order to be interviewed.

Well, the hacker went so far as to have a picture appear with the article in which his face was partially obscured. Here’s a link to an eWeek article about this case. Hidden metadata in that image file was capable of identifying the small town in Oklahoma where he lives. Hopefully, federal authorities in the vicinity of Roland, Oklahoma will now be able to zero in on his location. With further clues in the article about his identity, such as his long hair down to his eyebrows, he’s described as tall and lanky, he lives with his religious parents, and he conveniently triangulates his house near readily identifiable businesses such as a “used-car lot, a gas station and convenience store and a strip club.” It shouldn’t be too hard to find him in a town of only 2,842. 🙂

Let’s see how long it takes to bring this arrogant alleged violator of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to justice! Anybody care to place a friendly non-monetary wager on the timeframe?

Leave a reply