- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2018

A computer hacker has been sentenced by a court in Singapore in connection with compromising the National Football League’s official Twitter account in 2016 and falsely announcing the death of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Devesh Logendran, 18, was sentenced Thursday to 24 months probation after pleading guilty to 11 charges brought under Singapore’s Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, the nation’s federal anti-hacking law, Yahoo News Singapore reported Thursday.

The hacker breached the NFL’s official Twitter account and subsequently tweeted to its followers that Mr. Goodell had died, according to court documents seen by Yahoo.

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“We regret to inform our fans that our commissioner, Roger Goodell, has passed away. He was 57. #RIP,” he tweeted from the @NFL account on June 7, 2016.

The tweet was deleted within minutes, but the hoax went viral nonetheless and prompted the international probe that culminated in Thursday’s sentencing.

The Singapore Police Force’s Technology Crime Investigation Branch (TCIB) ultimately traced the Twitter breach to an Internet Protocol (IP) addresses originating from the hacker’s home in Singapore, Yahoo reported.

Investigators later determined that the hacker had hijacked the NFL’s Twitter in part by using publicly available information concerning the league’s social media director, Yahoo reported.

Armed with an employee’s email address, phone number and open source information, the hacker impersonated the social media director’s husband during a conversation with their mobile phone provider, Rogers Communication, and successfully convinced the telecom’s online support team to grant him access to the director’s work account, the report said.

Devesh then arranged to have a copy of each message sent to the social media director’s phone, to also be sent to a mobile number that he had access to,” the report said. “Through these efforts, he gained access to all the emails the social media director received and used the information to easily obtain the password for the NFL Twitter account.”

The hacker faced penalties of up to three years behind bars and maximum fine of $10,000 for each of the charges, Yahoo reported.

A media representative for the NFL could not immediately be reached for comment. An NFL spokesman said at the time of the hack that the league had “engaged law enforcement,” USA Today reported previously.

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