Minnesota WiFi hacker who threatened vice president indicted

Barry Vincent Ardolf of Blaine, Minnesota, was indicted yesterday on charges of unauthorized access to a computer and threats made to the vice president. The Minnesota resident also faces child pornography distribution and possession charges, which Infosecurity notes carry far longer possible jail terms than the WiFi hacking aspects of the case.

The indictment stems from February 2009 incident in which Ardolf, 45, apparently hacked into a neighbor’s WiFi network and subsequently created several Yahoo! email accounts in the neighbor’s name. The FBI says that Ardolf then sent a threatening email to the office of the vice president on May 6, 2009 using one of the Yahoo! accounts, in which the Blaine resident said:

This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don’t have.... I’m assigning myself to be judge jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don’t have it’s time to pay the ultimate price. Time for new officials after you all are put to death by us....

The FBI says that Ardolf also sent the same email to the governor of Minnesota, in addition to one of the state’s US senators. The US attorney’s indictment said the letter’s signature was forged by the defendant to implicate his neighbor and was sent from the neighbor’s wireless router.

In the e-mail, the FBI noted that the sender threatened to kill the recipients, one-by-one, beginning on June 1.

Ardolf also faces child porn possession and distribution charges, with 10- and 20-year possible sentences, respectively.

Using the same victim’s hacked WiFi network, Ardolf allegedly sent emails containing child pornography to three of his neighbor’s co-workers.

The Minnesota resident now faces a five-year sentence for the hacking and threats to the VP and government officials, as well as a mandatory two-year minimum term for each count of aggravated identity theft, according to the FBI.

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