- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A teenager hacker was sentenced in D.C. federal court Wednesday for a slew of cybercrimes committed against President Trump, Michelle Obama and former CIA Director John Brennan, among others.

Eric Taylor, 19, was sentenced to 36 months probation Wednesday afternoon with regards to a conspiracy that resulted in the disclosure of Social Security numbers, credit card details, home addresses and other sensitive information pertaining to some of the biggest names in U.S. government, The Washington Times has learned.

Mr. Taylor and multiple co-conspirators are accused by the government of illegally obtaining personal information from high-profile victims and publishing it on a website, Exposed.Su, in 2013. He pleaded guilty last year to related charges and was sentenced at 2 p.m. Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington, D.C., The Times has learned.

Allegations against Mr. Taylor and others charged in the conspiracy were filed under seal, and Wednesday’s sentencing hearing was not listed on the court’s website. Details of the sentencing were confirmed to The Times by individuals familiar with the case but not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia told The Times it typically does not comment on cases beyond the public filings and had no comment on this particular matter.

The FBI and Secret Service began investigating the Exposed website beginning March 2013 when it posted the personal information of victims including Mr. Trump, Mrs. Obama and Mr. Brennan, as well as former Attorney General Eric Holder, former FBI Director Robert Mueller and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, among others.

Mr. Taylor posted a photograph of himself from his “CosmoTheGod” Twitter account Wednesday morning that stated he was scheduled to appear in D.C. court for “old hacking charges.”

Prior to the launch of Exposed, “Cosmo the God” and his escapades as a prolific 15-year-old hacker were profiled extensively in a 2012 article published by Wired. At the time, the tech outlet noted that “Cosmo” and his group of hackers, “UGNazi,” had successfully compromised the security of Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix and Microsoft, among others, all before he turned 16. As of this month, he is president and director of operations for cybersecurity firm Cinder.

Mir Islam, one of Mr. Taylor’s co-conspirators, pleaded guilty in July 2015 to charges related to the Exposed website, including identity theft, access device fraud, Social Security number misuse, computer fraud and wire fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison in 2016.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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