A Bangladeshi-American computer hacker was sentenced to two years behind bars Monday after secretly pleading guilty to committing cyber-crimes against targets including members of Congress, a federal prosecutor and National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre, among others.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss in Washington, D.C., in connection with the unsealing of never-before-published court documents concerning a federal case against Mir Islam, a 22-year-old hacker who had been previously charged with trafficking stolen credit cards.
Islam was initially arrested in June 2012 along with nearly two dozen others as the result of a lengthy FBI sting operation that targeted individuals accused of buying and selling stolen credit cards and other personally identifiable information. He subsequently pleaded guilty and secretly agreed to cooperate with federal authorities, but did so while participating in a separate campaign of harassment and intimidation that culminated in Monday’s sentencing.
Newly unsealed court documents reveal that Islam, while cooperating with the FBI, worked with other hackers to acquire and then publicly disclose the personal information of dozens of well-known individuals, in some instances using that information to file phony 9-1-1 reports with the intent of having SWAT teams deployed to his victims’ homes.
Among the more than 50 individuals who were “doxed,” or had their personal information disclosed by Islam through a website he ran, “Exposed,” include first lady Michelle Obama, actor Mel Gibson and Vice President Joe Biden. Persons “swatted” as a result of Islam’s actions include former congressman Mike Rogers, U.S Attorney Stephen P. Heymann, journalist Brian Krebs and Mr. LaPierre, the head of the NRA, the court documents reveal.