Threat Management

Trio indicted in connection with hijacking


A trio of alleged hackers was indicted Thursday on charges that it took down Comcast's homepage and email service for several hours last year.

Christopher Lewis, 19, of Newark Del., James Black, 20, of Tumwater, Wash. and Michael Nebel, 27, of Kalamazoo, Mich. each were charged with redirecting traffic destined for to sites of their choosing, which claimed responsibility for the attack, according to an indictment.

The defendants, part of the hacker group Kryogeniks, were able to redirect visitors by changing Comcast's DNS records, maintained by Network Solutions, a third-party registrar, prosecutors said.

Philadelphia-based Comcast lost $128,578 as a result of the May 28, 2008 prank, which prevented customers from retrieving their email, voicemail and other services, the indictment stated.

If convicted, the defendants each face up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release following any prison time and a $250,000 fine.

A Comcast spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.

Not long after the attack, Wired conducted an interview with two of the defendants, who admitted their role. They said they decided to proceed with the traffic redirection only after a Comcast IT manager, who they tried to reach to explain what they were doing, hung up on them.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.