Saturday, March 19, 2005

Charges Brought for Computer Attacks on Competitors' Websites

The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey filed a criminal complaint alleging that Jason Arabo, who owns an online sportswear company specializing in throwback sports jerseys, hired a New Jersey juvenile (who was not identified by name) to undertake a computer attack on the websites of competitors.  According to a press release issued by the USAO, the computer attack ended up affecting servers in both North America and Europe, disrupting internet service for banks and pharmaceutical companies in addition to the competitors Arabo targeted.  The press release states:

From his Michigan home, Arabo ran two web-based companies, and, that sold sports apparel, including historic sports uniform reproductions, popularly known as "retro" or "throwback" jerseys. The complaint alleges that Arabo recruited and paid the New Jersey juvenile to conduct computer attacks, known as distributed denial of service, or "DDOS for hire" attacks, on the computer servers supporting the websites and online sales operations of his competitors. According to the complaint, Arabo compensated the juvenile for the attacks with sports apparel, including designer sneakers.

The complaint identified one of Arabo's targets as a New Jersey company with the initials "J.J."; another targeted competitor was a Georgia company identified in the complaint by the initials "D.R." The juvenile was identified in the complaint only by the juvenile's initials, "J.S." and by his online usernames, "Jatt" and "Pherk," which the juvenile allegedly used when communicating with Arabo via online "instant messaging." Arabo allegedly used the online usernames "CLdotcom" and "Jaytheplaya."


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