, SecurityFocus 2005-10-26
Story continued from Page 1
The plea agreement, announced in July, stipulated that, under the monicker "Rafa," Nuñez joined a hacker group known as World of Hell, which prided itself on highlighting weaknesses in the security of government and corporate computers. A site run by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for the U.S. Air Force was among the Web sites defaced by Rafa, the agreement stated. Nuñez plead guilty to "intentionally damaging" that computer and causing $10,548 in damage.
"The plea agreement simply addresses his admission regarding this crime," said Jeffrey Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver. "The U.S. sentencing guidelines takes into account his prior criminal history and the financial impact of the crime, but also whether he takes responsibility for his actions."
The hacking group World of Hell defaced a number of sites in 2001, including a mass defacement using an automated script that replaced hundreds of site's home pages with a message from the group. On June 10, 2001, a U.S. Air Force site had its home page replaced by the message, "woh is Back...and kiss my a** cause I just Owned yours! - America's Air Force Department of Defense computer system 0wn3d by [RaFa]," according to the original complaint filed by Joseph Diebert, a special agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
A comment posted on the group's Web site by one of the members of World of Hell helped investigators crack the case, according to the complaint. In the online posting, the founder of the group Cowhead2000 stated he had a run-in with police at the DEFCON hacking conference in Las Vegas during the summer of 2001. The investigators were able to find the police records, which led them to the home of the 15-year-old founder of the group.
A search of the teenager's computer disks found several Internet Relay chat (IRC) and I Seek You (ICQ) logs between Rafa and Cowhead2000, providing further links between the online identity of Rafa and Nuñez, according to the complaint.
Picking back up his work as a security professional may be difficult for Nuñez, said Seth Pack, director of the Counter Pedophilia Investigative Unit (CPIU), a freelance group that tracks down child pornographers and helps law enforcement officials prosecute them. Nuñez had frequently helped out the CPIU, and Pack said he could resume work there, but only after a long discussion.
"I am not ruling out his working here," he said. "But we will have to talk about it and see what really happened."