- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 13, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A hacker broke into a wireless carrier’s network over at least seven months and read e-mail and personal computer files of hundreds of customers, including the Secret Service agent investigating the hacker, the government said yesterday.

The hacker obtained an internal Secret Service memorandum and part of a mutual assistance legal treaty from Russia. The documents contained “highly sensitive information pertaining to ongoing … criminal cases,” according to court records.

The break-in targeted the network for Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile USA, which has 16.3 million customers in the United States.

It was discovered during a Secret Service investigation, “Operation Firewall,” which targeted underground hacker organizations known as Shadowcrew, Carderplanet and Darkprofits.

Nicolas Lee Jacobsen, 21, of Santa Ana, Calif., a computer engineer, has been charged at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles with the break-in. Investigators said they traced the hacker’s online activities to a hotel near Buffalo, N.Y., where Mr. Jacobsen was staying. Mr. Jacobsen, who was arrested in October in California, has been released on a $25,000 bond.

The hacker was able to view from at least March through October the names and Social Security numbers of 400 customers, authorities said. T-Mobile said no financial information was revealed.

An online offer in March, traced to Mr. Jacobsen, said hackers could look up the name, Social Security number, birth date and passwords for voice mail and e-mail for T-Mobile customers, court records said.

Authorities said Secret Service agent Peter Cavicchia, a T-Mobile customer who coincidentally was investigating the T-Mobile break-in, should not have been using his personal hand-held computer for government work.

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