News and Press Releases

Defendant and Two Others Disrupted Comcast Service in May 2008

August 9, 2010

JAMES ROBERT BLACK, JR., a.k.a. ‘Defiant’, 21, of Tumwater, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to four months in prison, four months of electronic home monitoring, 150 hours of community service, three years of supervised release and $128,557 in restitution for conspiring to damage a protected computer. BLACK was originally indicted in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for his role in a hacker attack aimed at disrupting service at Comcast corporation’s web site on May 28 and 29, 2008. BLACK and government prosecutors agreed to resolve the case in Washington. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle imposed the sentence.

BLACK was charged in the conspiracy along with Christopher Allen Lewis, a.k.a. EBK, 19, of Newark, Delaware, and Michael Paul Nebel, a.k.a. Slacker, 27, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The three were associated with the hacker group Kryogeniks. On May 28, 2008, the three men used their hacking skills to redirect all traffic destined for the website to web sites that they had established. As a result, Comcast customers trying to read their e-mail or listen to their voice mail were sent to a website on which the only thing that they could find was a message that read “KRYOGENIKS Defiant and EBK RoXed COMCAST sHouTz to VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven.”

Approximately five million people per day connected to the Comcast website in May of 2008. These acts resulted in a loss to Comcast conservatively estimated at $128,557.

In asking that BLACK serve prison time, Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Warma wrote to the court saying, “Mr. Black and his Kryogenicks crew created risks to all of these millions of e-mail customers for the simple sake of boosting their own childish egos. The callous disregard of the dangers posed to others, as well as the arrogance and recklessness displayed by these, and other hackers in committing such crimes should be considered by the Court as a factor that weighs in favor of a significant prison sentence.”

At the time the Comcast site was hacked, BLACK was residing in Tennessee. He has since relocated to Tumwater, Washington.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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