Father of Hacker 'Mafiaboy' Busted

SAN FRANCISCO (04/21/2000) - In a bizarre twist, the father of an arrested teenage hacker known as "Mafiaboy" was himself arrested on charges that he conspired to assault a business associate.

Montreal police hauled the father in last week after investigators, who were monitoring his 15-year-old son via tapped telephones, overheard the father and another man make plans for the assault, police officials said.

Police said they could not release any other details or identify the father because that could lead to identification of the son, which is in violation of a Canadian law against identifying minors accused of crimes.

Mafiaboy was arrested Saturday, the same day as his father, and released Monday after pleading not guilty to two counts of mischief to data in relation to a DOS (denial of service) attack on CNN.com, which obstructed access to the site for more than four hours on Feb. 8.

The teen allegedly bragged about the attack in Internet Relay Chat forums and left evidence of his activities on a computer at the University of California at Santa Barbara that was used in the attack. In a DOS attack, a hacker remotely controls the action through software sneaked onto another computer.

The so-called zombie computer is used to overwhelm the target Web site with so much traffic that legitimate traffic can't get through.

In addition to CNN, other sites hit in February include Yahoo.com, eBay.com, Buy.com, Amazon.com, E-Trade.com and Excite.com. Mafiaboy also allegedly bragged about conducting the E-Trade attack. He has denied any involvement but "mentioned pieces of information that only someone who launched the attack would know," says Michael Lyle, chief technology officer of Recourse Technologies, who has been in discussions with authorities on the case.

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