21 year old Christopher Maxwell was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison on Friday for hacking, that in the estimate of the Seattle FBI's cybersquad, netted Maxwell and two unnamed teenage accomplices "more than $100,000".
Maxwell, holding back tears, pleaded for probation in lieu of prison time.
I am a 21-year-old boy with a good heart and I made a mistake. I never realized how dangerous a computer could be. I thank God no one was hurt.
The judge was not taken by the tears, or the plea. While Pechman took Maxwell's age and lack of criminal record into account, she said the prison term was necessary to provide a deterrent to other hackers.
Victims of the hack included
- Colton Unified School District in California.
- Northwest Hospital in Seattle.
- The US Defense Department.
and doubtless thousands of unknown private computers that will never be identified.
He got off lightly, but it's a start. Hopefully the FBI is getting better at this now.