Busybee brings us an update on the case against Jasmine Singh, a NJ based, 17 year-old Sikh hacker:
An Indian-American teenager, described by prosecutors as an online gangster, was sentenced to five years in prison by a New Jersey Superior Court judge last month for hacking into online businesses, costing them over $1.5 million in revenue losses.
In addition to serving the sentence, Jasmine Singh, 17, of Edison in Middlesex County, New Jersey, was also ordered by Judge Frederick DeVesa to pay restitution to the tune of $35,000.
“Online gangster?” Hyperbole, thought I, until further search lead me right back, natch, to the SepiaMutiny archives, where Manish brilliantly explains how this kid controlled over 2,000 PCs using a Trojan horse named “Jennifer Lopez.” He promised naked pics, gullible horndogs lost their computers.
So beta did a bad, bad, thing.
In 2004, after months of putting a virtual tail on a hacker who called himself Pherk, FBI agent Timothy Nestor had the guy right where he wanted him.
Though unsure of Pherk’s identity, Special Agent Nestor was tracking every digital footstep the hacker took as he wreaked havoc on dozens of businesses by shutting down their online storefronts.
Pherk, of course, turns out to be our pal Zero Cool, er, Jasmine Singh Cheema. Uncinematically however, Cheema got slapped with five years in Juvie, and a $35,000 fine….all for a few sneakers and a watch.
This kid is clearly the sort of bright, underachieving young punk specifically built to make good-hearted educators and desi parents rend their garments in sorrow. But what’s this pompous blowhard’s excuse?
Singh was charged with two first-degree charges of computer theft, and faced up to 40 years in prison. Defense attorney Lawrence Bitterman negotiated a plea bargain, exposing Singh to as much as 10 years in prison.
Last year a 17-year-old German, Sven Jaschan, released the Sasser worm, one of the costliest hacks in the history of the Internet. A German judge gave him a 21-month suspended sentence and ordered 30 hours of community service…
Cyber crime is serious stuff. “I believe,” said the FBI agent who worked the Singh case, “the next Pearl Harbor, the next 9/11, will be cyber-related.”
Bitterman, who said he only uses the Internet for sports news, said of his client, “He was just a kid fooling around with his computer.”Jasmine Singh, 17, will be doing five years at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville. Kids, take notice.
Being the Forrest Gump of all tech matters, I don’t know if the next 9/11 will be cyber-related; I can’t tell if he was just fooling around with his computer. (Well, my parents hold a rather grim view of “just fooling around” with anything.)
But I can recognize a kindred spirit…I can smell a fear of AirPorts and motherboards in his every sentence. Maybe he pictures mad hackers, lounging in pajamas while directing botnet armies, like this guy. In which case, I wonder what he’d write upon visiting the North Dakota headquarters, seeing us blogging away. As the newbie, they gave me the bathroom workstation you know…