Friday, January 30, 2009

Shades... of Joe Engressia

A legally blind Massachusetts phone hacker admitted this week to federal computer intrusion and witness intimidation charges that could put him away for as long as 13 years.

Matthew Weigman, 18, pleaded guilty to two felonies before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney in Dallas on Tuesday. Known in the telephone party-line scene as "Li'l Hacker," Weigman is widely considered one of the best phone hackers alive.

In his plea deal with prosecutors, Weigman, who was born blind, admitted to a long criminal resume (.pdf). Among other things, he confessed to conspiring with other telephone hooligans who made hundreds of false calls to police that sent armed SWAT teams bursting into the homes of their party-line enemies.

In a new revelation, Weigman also admitted eavesdropping on customer service calls to Sprint, by dialing into a phone line used by Sprint supervisors to monitor their employees. Weigman parked on the spy line to overhear customers giving out their credit card numbers, which he memorized and passed to accomplices. Weigman and his friends used the numbers to purchase computers and other electronics. (more) (Joe Engressia)