Man charged with making Web threats against University of Pittsburgh
Federal authorities arrested an Ohio computer specialist on June 20 for making threats against the University of Pittsburgh via YouTube last spring at the same time the school was dealing with a series of intensifying bomb threats.
Alexander Waterland, of Loveland, OH, wasn’t charged with the string of bomb threats against the university, but with posting a threatening YouTube video and a follow-up comment that claimed that the computer hacking group known as Anonymous had broken into the school’s computer system and stolen records related to students, faculty and alumni.
Waterland, 24, was formally charged on June 20 with making Internet threats and violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, said federal authorities.
Last April, the university received dozens of bomb threats against iconic buildings on the school’s campus. University chancellor Mark Nordenberg’s home was also threatened.
The threats, first written on the walls of some of the school’s buildings, then delivered through the mail, drove students out of dormitories and forced new on-campus security procedures. The university’s administration continually posted updates for students, faculty and parents on its Website since the threats began in February. It offered a $50,000 reward for information.
The FBI said on June 11 its regional Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Secret Service, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, federal air marshals, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, along with local agencies, including Pittsburgh police and Pitt police, continue to investigate the threats.
Campus police had arrested a 65-year-old New York man on April 11 for making email threats against University of Pittsburgh professors. The man, Mark Krangle, wasn’t charged with the steady stream of bomb threats that plagued the school since February, but only with making email threats against the professors.
In the latest arrest relating to threats, a criminal complaint filed on June 20 accuses Waterland of posting a video on YouTube on April 26, 2012 under the name “User ID AnonOperative13.” The date was five days after the last bomb threat was made against the school, according to local news reports.
According to the complaint, the video titled “Anonymous Message to The University Of Pittsburgh,” claimed Anonymous had hacked into the university’s computer system and stolen student, faculty, and alumni information. Part of the video, said the FBI, demanded the university chancellor issue a public apology for not protecting students’ welfare or the stolen information would be publicly released. On May 2, 2012, AnonOperative13 posted a comment about the video, which included information about specific university employees, and stated terms and a deadline for the apology, said the FBI.
The FBI said investigators were able to trace the identity of AnonOperative13 to Waterland’s home address.
Federal authorities demurred on whether Waterland was a suspect in the bomb threats. “These charges pertain to specific cyber threats in April and May of this year that targeted the University of Pittsburgh and caused disruption in campus operations,” stated U.S. attorney David Hickton in a June 20 statement. “These threats were part of the series of threats received by the University since February. The investigation is comprehensive and ongoing.”
Waterland was arrested on June 20 by special agents of the FBI’s Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Field Offices and was slated for an initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio the same day.
He faces a maximum of seven years in prison, along with a $500,000 fine if convicted on the charges, said the FBI.
http://www.GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.Locatepc.net, http://stolencomputeralert.com, http://computersecurityexpert.net, http://www.hackerforhireusa.com, http://www.GregoryDEvans.net, AmIHackerProof.com, http://ParentSecurityOnline.com, http://TheCyberWars.com, http://hiphopsecurity.com, http://HackerForHireinternational.com, http://www.computersecurityguru.com, http://computer-security-expert.com