Man is indicted in Verizon hacking case

Tuesday, 13 July 2004, 4:23 PM EST

A man has been charged with illegally infiltrating a computer at Verizon Communications more than 100 times this year, forcing the telecommunications company to spend at least $120,000 to retool its security system.

The hacker, William Quinn, 27, of Eastchester, New York, obtained passwords to a central computer that Verizon technicians use in repairing telephone lines, according to a federal indictment filed on Monday in Manhattan.

Roland Thau, a lawyer appointed by the court for Quinn, said his client would plead not guilty at a hearing on Thursday. He declined to comment further.

Prosecutors say Quinn, using the nickname "decoder," engaged in a practice called phreaking, or breaking into the phone system.

By Julia Preston at the International Herald Tribune.

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