Phone phreaker sentenced

Matthew Weigman was sentenced on several counts, including access device fraud, and harassing a witness. The teenager had been engaged in various activities, including 'swatting', in which spoof emergency telephone calls would be placed to a police department, to call out a law enforcement swatting to a false address.

"To begin a swatting call, Weigman and others would fraudulently obtain a personal identifiers, such as passwords and access codes, addresses, and telephone numbers, of certain telecommunications employees," said an FBI complaint. "Weigman and others would impersonate the customer of the targeted telephone number, impersonate the telecommunications employee capable of initiating changes to the targeted telephone number, and/or establish fraudulent telephone accounts."

Weigman would use telephone partyline chat groups with accomplices as a means of planning the swatting calls. He would gain access to commercial databases used in interstate and foreign commerce, and use them to source consumer information from banking institutions and credit card companies.

Weigman also participated in stealing credit card information by monitoring customer service lines used by telecommunications companies. When a customer gave credit card information that was recorded by one of these lines, Weigman would memorize the number, and use it to purchase items in the customer's name. Equipment valued in excess of $5,000 was purchased in this way.

"Weigman was aware as of December 2006 that he was a target of a federal investigation, in that the FBI executed a search warrant at Weigman's house," says the complaint. "Weigman knew that the FBI was obtaining information from various local law enforcement officers, some of whom had visited Weigman previously," it added. The FBI also courted Weigman as a potential informant at one time during the investigation.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?