A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from his participation in a scheme to hack into computer networks and sell access to those networks.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts.
Andrew James Miller, 23, of Devon, Penn., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf in the District of Massachusetts to one count of conspiracy and two counts of computer intrusion.
According to court documents, from 2008 to 2011, Miller remotely hacked into a variety of computers located in Massachusetts and elsewhere, and, in some instances, surreptitiously installed “backdoors” into those computers. These “backdoors” were designed to provide future administrator-level, or “root,” access to the compromised computers. According to court documents, Miller obtained log-in credentials to the compromised computers. He and his co-conspirators then sold access to these backdoors, as well as other log-in credentials. The access sold by Miller and his co-conspirators allowed unauthorized people to access various commercial, education and government computer networks.
Judge Wolf scheduled sentencing for Nov. 19, 2013. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy count is five years in prison. One of the computer intrusion counts carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and the other, involving intentional damage to a protected computer, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.