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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Hackers Find Cops Aren’t so ‘Dumb’ After All

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - Two former students face federal charges of hacking into computers to try to steal and sell personal data of 90,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Central Missouri. Joseph Camp, 26, called the police who busted him "dumb," and Daniel Fowler, 21, left a taunting message for police before they caught him, according to the indictment.

Camp and Fowler broke into UCM databases and computers between October 2009 and December 2009 and infected the university's systems with a virus, the indictment states. The virus allowed them to monitor all activity on the affected systems, to steal data and transfer university money into their own accounts, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say the men tried to sell the stolen information for $35,000 in New York City, to a man identified only as "T.S." In a recorded conversation, Camp told T.S., "The cops were dumb to bust us so quick" and "if they knew the scope of this, they would have involved the feds," the indictment states.

Campus police arrested Camp in December 2009 and confiscated his computers. He has been in custody in New York on unrelated charges and will be transferred to Kansas City to face the hacking charges.

The indictment was unsealed after Fowler was arrested and brought to court for his initial appearance.

UCM campus police searched Fowler's room just days after Camp was arrested in New York. All the computers had been removed and the only thing they found was a Post-It note on a computer monitor that stated, "Too Late!" with a smiley face on it, according to the indictment.

The men are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, computer intrusion causing damage, interception of electronic computers, computer intrusion furthering fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of computer intrusion obtaining information.

Each charge is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

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