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MySpace User Tracker Hackers Smacked

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A plea deal will keep two young New York men from prison for attempting to extort $150,000 from the social networking site MySpace.

Two accused blackmailers will get a second chance at righting their lives after pleading guilty to lesser charges stemming from their MySpace-related shenanigans. Software they developed to gather information about MySpace users led to their failed extortion attempt.

AP reported how Shaun Harrison and Saverio Mondelli attempted to arrange a $150,000 “consulting fee” payment from MySpace, after site representatives hit them with a cease and desist order for offering their software for sale.

The budding Moriartys headed to Los Angeles to pick up their payment in May 2006. Instead of meeting with MySpace reps to pick up a briefcase full of cash, they found themselves walking into the waiting arms of federal Secret Service agents and local law enforcement.

The duo had claimed they had 85,000 registered users for the software, which they offered for sale for $29.95 a copy. It is not known how much information those users may have gathered about MySpace users.

For the duration of their three-year probation, neither man can access MySpace in any manner. They have been limited to one email address each, and will have to perform 160 hours of community service. Also, $13,500 restitution to MySpace has to be paid.

The original charges of attempted extortion and illegal computer access could have netted Harrison and Mondelli almost four years in prison. Meanwhile, MySpace will continue trying to stop a number of copycat programmers with similar data mining aims from targeting their users.


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MySpace User Tracker Hackers Smacked
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