back to article Men sentenced to prison for Comcast hijack

Two of the three men convicted of commandeering the domain name have been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. Christopher Allen Lewis, 20, of Delaware and Michael Paul Nebel, 28, of Michigan were also ordered to pay $89,778.13 in restitution each, according to federal prosecutors in Philadelphia. Part of a …


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  1. bexley

    18 months??

    89k as well? to changed a compromised password?


    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      How many people does it take to change a password?


      One to write the manual on the procedures to determine the options for selecting a new password, one to do the mathematical modeling on password strength, one to type the research paper documenting password selection methods, one to submit the paper for publishing, one to prevent the paper from being published due to security concerns, and one to hire a student to do type in the new password.

    2. James O'Brien

      Welcome to the US of A

      Where you can sue a company for stubbing your toe and get 30K+

    3. Steen Hive

      Yeah 18 months, WTF?

      Running someone over with a car would attract less of a punishment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I'd want more than that if a company stubbed my toe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ WTF

        That depends on the circumstances. If it looks like you did it on purpose, it is murder. If it is an accident, in the UK it would probably be "driving without undue care and attention" (a fine at most).

        As an aside, if it can be proven that you planned to kill the person, instead of -let's say- you got into an argument and you got besides yourself, that again aggrivates the whole thing much more.

        Not saying if 18 months is fair or not (a suspended sentence could have done the job imho), but it is a bit overly simplistic to compare the two.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "driving without undue care and attention"

          Erm, shouldn't it be "driving with undue care and attention".

          Driving without undue care and attention is what most of us do most of the time, and certainly helps you pass your driving test.

    4. David 39


      'nuff said

  2. Lance 3


    Why would they even use a email account for the domain registration? They should have used their domain; then they would need to call the corporate help desk.

    Comcast has never been bright though. They will lie to their customers of what they actually do. They don't even understand DHCP.

  3. Quxy


    ...This is the Corporate States of America. They do NOT like you messing with their big companies!

  4. neverSteady


    Now that's what you call justice with bludgeon.

    Did Comcast sack the employee? If not, why not?

    Also, they should have given these "hackers" a job. Looks like Comcast are in serious need of some technical skills.

  5. Christopher Martin

    re: 18 months??

    It's US federal court. They're lucky they didn't get their hands cut off.

  6. Neal 5

    New business model?

    Comcasts new get out clause for their contracts maybe?

    T&C's may vary but never in your favour, so whats optimal for you you, 4 months in the slammer and $130k compensation, or remain tied into Comcast for the remaining 18 months. I bet a lot of people would rather take the 4 months and $130k.

    Btw, did they get to keep the 'phone, or did the judge order that returned as well?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Can they try a little harder to at least appear to be smart? Or is that what they think they're doing, with that kind of business?

    Hey, it's a free market, over here, and Comcast is just one cable company.......

  8. kain preacher

    Realy ?

    "Running someone over with a car would attract less of a punishment."

    Not in most places in the US. you can face up to 4 years in prison and have your driving license revoked in California.

  9. James Woods

    that's nice

    Why wasn't the employee that provided the information simply held responsible?

    How many employees at comcast have the authority to access such 'critical' information.

    This just goes to show how biased our justice system is when it comes to corporations vs small business. is not an 'infrastructure' website. It's basically a tabloid/yahoo type website.

    Good to see the mega-corps get justice and at the same time when they are taken to court for things they do get a pass.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Two words:

    Iranian VPN

  11. asdf


    HP execs do zero jail time for basically committing the same crime. Funny how impersonation only seems gets you jail time if your political connections/donations are negligible. Innocent until broke in action.

  12. Barrie Shepherd
    Thumb Down

    18 months too much

    Sad as it is the initial intent was to a) prove they could do it b) have a laugh at the stuck up self importance of an American Corporation.

    In my opinion a fine would have been appropriate - the slammer for a corporate "loss" of $90k is totally OTT - it's not like they took the cash from the till.

    Another reason to minimise dealings with US companies and avoid their country.

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