back to article FBI arrests claims NullCrew hacker in Tennessee takedown

The FBI has arrested a Tennessee man on computer crime charges, claiming he is a key player in the NullCrew hacking squad that attacked businesses and educational institutions from 2012 onwards. Court filings claim Timothy Justin French, 20, is known online as "Orbit", and took part in hacking attacks against two US …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hackers who think they can anonymously steal private business and personal information from computer systems should be aware that we are determined to find them, to prosecute pernicious online activity, and to protect cyber victims,"

    In other words, we're not going to do anything about the unlocked doors on government systems, we're just going to arrest anyone who comes in and pretend the security is fine.

    1. The Mole

      But are they going to prosecute those hackers in the NSA/CIA/GCHQ who steal (sorry 'lawfully' intercept) private business and personal information?

  2. Crazy Operations Guy

    Good thing for us that criminals are stupid

    I fear the day that criminals learn to not speak about crimes they have committed...

  3. Herby

    So how long will he be locked up?

    "If convicted, French faces up to ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines"

    Wonderful. I suspect that the real sentence will be a FRACTION of that. He will probably get off light if he talks!

    Of course, how much did he 'earn' from the experience: If it was $1M, it might be a reasonable tradeoff ($100k/yr).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SOS, DD

    Until these criminals spend 20 years in prison for these types of multiple attacks, justice has been denied.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: SOS, DD

      Yeah, just think, if we impose harsh enough sentences then crime will stop. I'm not sure what more you can do besides execution, because that hasn't worked in 5,000 years, but maybe you'll figure something out. Best of luck to you.

      1. Psyx

        Re: SOS, DD

        "Until these criminals spend 20 years in prison for these types of multiple attacks, justice has been denied."

        So, hacking is worse than murder, rape, aggravated assault, wife beating and sticking your c0ck in tortoises, eh?

        1. Kane Silver badge

          Re: SOS, DD

          Depends on the tortoise, and if they press charges.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: SOS, DD

      hmm... let's see. I've been in many a country where using drugs results in execution. And this is not execution ten to forty-years down the road execution, this is next week execution. With a bullet. In public. That's as stiff a sentence as you can impose and no behavioral change at either the individual nor sociological can be detected and I know how to do that (my specialization). For the record, we had to literally buy/bribe one of our guys out of a prison system so we could take him back to serve federal time instead. But very much alive. US citizenship didn't buy shit.

      So pardon me if I don't buy your stiffer sentence dogma. I live in an analyctical world, whetherwithin the confines within most all the various tribes of engineering or the oft warring tribes of the social sciences and man do they have the art of war down pat!

  5. Anomalous Cow Pasture

    "According to the FBI, a "confidential witness" engaged members of the NullCrew team in conversation on Skype, Twitter, and the encrypted messaging system Cryptocat, and won their trust."

    I guess we know what Sabu is doing nowadays.

  6. Paul 164

    Double standards

    So OK for NSA/GCHQ to do it but if some hacking group comes pissing in their yard then it's NOT OK

    1. Guus Leeuw

      Re: Double standards

      Dear Paul,

      It's not a double standard at all, Paul.

      Government is effectively above the law as government is the law-maker. We also have police and justice which are effectively the enforcers of the law and the guardians of the public respectively.

      Now, what nobody really understood is that 2 of the 3 in the trinity are paid by the other one, so the whole idea of separating enforcers from justice from politics / government, really, never had any chance. But it is a nice thing to say to the masses who will not bother.

      So, again, it's not a double standard, it's the way the system was designed to begin with. Justice and Police should have their taxation rules so that can exist separate from Government. If that were the case, they would finally become the real enforcers and guardians that they are meant to be...

      Until then, no double standards, I'm afraid...

      With Best Regards,


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Double standards

        Which laws? The ones that we can see for ourselves, or the ones they've made up that we can't see?

    2. Psyx

      Re: Double standards

      "So OK for NSA/GCHQ to do it but if some hacking group comes pissing in their yard then it's NOT OK"

      Yeah, and it's ok for the government to nick a bunch of my wages from my paypacket, but if I do it to other people, it's theft! I AM OUTRAGED!

      When the council put marks on the road it's OK, but when I do it' it's vandalism! I AM OUTRAGED!


  7. snot_meh

    SKIDz and Pastebin related nfo

    Seems plausible enough (imho)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For those "l33t" hackers who still use their own broadband to hack.... EPIC FAIL

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fail

      OpSec seems to be a common point of failure. Then again, concealing one's IP address and/or MAC address seems to be immeasurably a small issue of, oh..., like not bragging even discussing operations ever, maintaining cell-structure (the espionage kind, not biological kind), little things use of cut-outs (technological where speed is mandatory, low-tech otherwise, little things like that.

      'Twere me, I'd have so many cold relays that the connection would freeze Antarctica, never the same devices, never hanging on to such a device, yada, yada. Most criminals literally talk (pun-intended) their way into prison.

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