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T-Mobile hacker sentenced

A hacker involved in the infiltration of the T-Mobile USA network two years ago has been sentenced to a year of home detention and also fined $10,000. Nicholas Lee Jacobsen was involved in the infamous T-Mobile Sidekick hack in 2004, when as many as 400 of these wireless devices were accessed by attackers. Among the owners affected by the security breach were Hollywood celebrities and a US Special Agent. Attackers managed to steal private data including Social Security numbers and could also access the contents of the T-Mobile wireless devices, such as private correspondence.

Jacobsen was originally detained in October 2004 as part of a wider investigation, and was initially indicted in early 2005. In February 2005 he entered into a plea agreement with the government and pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally accessing a protected computer and causing damage. However, his case raised a lot of questions, particularly as it involved Special Agent Peter Caviccia, whose private information was also accessed by Jacobsen. There were also issues regarding the education and expertise level of the accused hacker. More than a year after the original trial was held, US District Judge George King finally sentenced Jacobsen to a year of home detention and restitution to T-Mobile to the sum of $10,000.

Jacobsen, who now lives in Oregon, claimed he lacked “comprehension and maturity” when he carried out his attacks. The judge called his actions “dangerous”, but took into account the youth of Jacobsen at the time as a mitigating factor. Jacobsen could have faced a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for breaking into a computer and causing damage.


ABC News
LA Times
Sydney Morning Herald