Wardrivers Plead Guilty, Sentenced To Jail Time

unsecured wireless networks

The three Michigan men all filed guilty pleas for charges that they penetrated the computer network of home improvement retailer Lowe's through an unprotected Wi-Fi access point in a parking lot of a Lowe's in suburban Detroit.

According to prosecutors, the trio accessed the network more than ten times last fall, and modified software on the Lowe's network to collect credit card numbers. An FBI surveillance team, called in by Lowe's after system administrators detected the intrusion, staked out the parking lot and noticed a car with two men, one working on a laptop, and suspicious-looking antennas.

"Wardriving" is the term given to hacker habit of driving around with a wireless-enabled laptop in the car, sniffing for wireless network access, either to simply freeload on the feed or invade other systems.

In November, the three were indicted on multiple counts, including computer intrusion, damage to computers, and fraud, in Charlotte, where Lowe's is headquartered.

Sponsored post

The three -- Brian Salcedo, 21, Adam Botbyl, 21, and Paul Timmins, 23 -- all struck plea bargain deals by pleading guilty to reduced charges.

Under the plea arrangements, prosecutors will recommend that Salcedo serve 12 years and 7 months; Botbyl 3 years and 5 months; and Timmins anything ranging from probation to 12 months in jail.

At the time of the intrusions, Salcedo was serving the last month of a three-year probation from an earlier computer crime conviction.

This story courtesy of TechWeb.