WCCO EYE4 LOGO WCCO Radio wcco-eye-green01, ww color green

Local

Blaine Man Admits E-Mailed Biden Threat, Child Porn

View Comments
(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

ST. PAUL (WCCO) – A Blaine man has pleaded guilty in federal court to hacking into his neighbor’s wireless internet network and using it to send threats to Vice President Joe Biden and child pornography to his neighbor’s coworkers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wireless routers allow homeowners to access the internet from anywhere in their house, and can be either encrypted or left open to any computer in range, which can sometimes extend to nearby homes. In this case, the network was encrypted.

The U.S. Attorney said 45-year-old Barry Vincent Ardolf admitted that in February 2009, he hacked into his neighbor’s connection and created numerous free Yahoo.com e-mail accounts in his neighbor’s name.

He said he then used those accounts to send sexual e-mails to three of the neighbor’s coworkers, as well as one e-mail containing child pornography, according to the attorney’s office. The same image of child pornography appeared on a MySpace profile Ardolf set up in his neighbor’s name.

Documents show Ardolf admitted that later, in May 2009, he used one of the phony e-mail accounts to send a threat to the vice president. The threat, which he signed with the names of the neighbor and his wife, said officials would have to pay the “ultimate price” for deficit spending, and that he would be the “judge, jury and executioner.” It was also sent to Minnesota Governor Mark Pawlenty and one of the state’s U.S. senators. He said they would be killed one at a time, beginning June 1, 2009.

In each instance, the e-mails were intended to be traced back to the neighbor.

The justice department said Ardolf pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, unauthorized access to a protected computer, making threats to the president and successors to the presidency and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. Distributing child pornography is the most serious charge, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. For having the image, he could get up to 10 years. The hacking and threat charges can result in up to five years each, while each identity theft charge carries a minimum sentence of two years. The total maximum sentence would be 44 years.

The case was investigated by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, the Blaine Police Department and the Minnesota Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service.

The task force and the attorney’s office said it’s important for computer users to have up-to-date anti-virus and firewall protection, as well as make sure their wireless router is set to the highest level of encryption possible. To help, they provide the following links from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team:
US-CERT: Home Network Security
US-CERT: Securing Your Wireless Network (.pdf)
US-CERT: Using Wireless Technology Securely (.pdf)

View Comments
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,791 other followers