Alleged WebTV 911 hacker charged with cyberterrorism

Friday, 27 February 2004, 12:53 PM EST

FBI agents arrested a Louisiana man last week under the cyberterrorism provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act for allegedly tricking a handful of MSN TV users into running a malicious e-mail attachment that reprogrammed their set-top boxes to dial 9-1-1 emergency response.

According to prosecutors, David Jeansonne, 43, was targeting 18 specific MSN TV users in an online squabble when he crafted the script in July 2002, and sent it out disguised as a tool to change the colors on MSN TV's user interface. Though the code didn't mass-mail itself to others, some of the recipients were sufficiently fooled that they forwarded it to friends, for a total of 21 victims.

Known as WebTV before it was acquired by Microsoft, MSN TV works with television set-top boxes to allow users to surf the Web and send and receive e-mail without using a PC.

By Kevin Poulsen at SecurityFocus.

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