Florida hacker indicted in big online theft case

He's been charged with hacking into computers used by Acxiom Corp.

A 45-year-old man has been indicted on charges of hacking into the computers of marketing company Acxiom Corp., in Little Rock, Ark., to access databases filled with personal, financial and company information, the office of the U.S. attorney general said yesterday.

A 144-count indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court in Little Rock against Scott Levine, of Boca Raton, Fla., charging him with conspiracy, unauthorized access of a protected computer, access device fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice, said Christopher Wray, assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice's criminal division, in a statement.

Representatives from the DOJ and from Acxiom couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The charges against Levine, who "effectively controlled" Snipermail.com Inc., are part of what may turn out to be "the largest case of intrusion of personal data to date," the DOJ said. The Web site for Snipermail.com, a company that distributed ads over e-mail, is no longer functional, and the company couldn't be reached by telephone.

According to the DOJ, the indictment includes 139 counts of illegal access, accusing Levine and other Snipermail employees of downloading 8.2GB of data from the Acxiom server between April 2002 and August 2003.

The case stems from investigations in July 2003 into an unrelated matter that led to the August arrest and indictment of Daniel Baas, of Milford, Ohio, who was also accused of downloading sensitive information from Acxiom. Baas pleaded guilty in that case on Dec. 2, 2003.

Wray said that the data Levine is accused of stealing did contain "personal information about a great number of individuals" but that the information doesn't appear to have been subsequently used in any fraudulent schemes.

The indictment also charges Levine and others with actively concealing computers from investigators "in order to hide their illicit activity and avoid prosecution," the DOJ said.

Six other individuals associated with Snipermail have agreed to cooperate in the investigation, Wray said.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon