Hacker charged with threatening vice president Joe Biden using neighbour's PC
June 15, 2010
According to various search warrant affidavits unsealed June 10th, a computer hacker tried in vain to frame one of his his neighbour by tapping into his wireless Internet connection and sending threatening e-mails to U.S. vice president Joe Biden. The Secret Service then immediately took over the investigation once the threathning email was received.
Barry Ardolf, 45, is now formally charged with using someone else's computer to send a threatening email to the vice president. But the affidavits also reveal many years of all kinds of disputes between Ardolf and other neighbours from different areas he's lived in the past.
Residing in Blaine, Minneapolis, Ardolf had been using his computer expertise to harass his current neighbours, according to the affidavits filed by FBI Special Agent Robert Cameron.
As well as the emails threatening the vice president, Ardolf is also alleged to have sent indecent images of children to his neighbour's work colleagues, using fake email accounts he'd set up in the neighbours' name.
Additionally, he's also alleged to have stolen personal information and sent offensive messages to other people, always using forged email accounts.
The email threats to Joe Biden read, in part "this is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don't have. I'm assigning myself to be judge, jury and executioner. Since you people have spent what you don't have, it's time to pay the ultimate price."
The U.S. Secret Service traced the messages back to Ardolf by using various 'sniffing' devices that tapped into his neighbours' Wi-Fi wireless Internet connections. This led to the FBI seizing multiple computers, hard drives and routers following a search of Ardolf's home in July of last year.
Social Security numbers, dates of birth, income information and the physical addresses for Ardolf's former neighbours where he lived several years ago were also found.
This is an example of his email style: "I was thinking of you on Valentines' Day. I wouldn't mind at all if you wanted to sneak me a kiss when nobody's looking. Remember what Bill Clinton finally fessed up to? I want that from you!"
The neighbour also had a MySpace page set up in his name that also contained child pornography, and asked whether there were "any ladies looking for a good time, I'm married but my spouse bites big time".
Ardolf was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of threats to the president and successors to the presidency. He is scheduled to appear in federal court tomorrow.
Ardolf could face anywhere from to 20 to 30 years in federal prison for his crimes.
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