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KC man pleads guilty in hacking scheme at university
[June 28, 2011]

KC man pleads guilty in hacking scheme at university


Jun 23, 2011 (The Kansas City Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Kansas City man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in an elaborate scheme to hack computers at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.



Daniel J. Fowler, 21, admitted that he and another former student conspired for a year beginning in March 2009 to plunder the UCM computer network by downloading large databases of student, alumni, staff and faculty information, which they later tried to sell.

The men also transferred money to their student accounts and attempted to change their grades, Fowler admitted.


A grand jury charged Fowler and Joseph A. Camp, 27, a New York state resident, in November with conspiracy, fraud, computer intrusion, illegal interception of electronic communications and aggravated identity theft.

Camp still maintains his innocence and is scheduled for trial in October.

Fowler admitted that he helped develop a computer virus, which they placed on a thumb drive and installed on computers around the campus. In some cases they told victims that they wanted to show them vacation photos on the drive to get access to their computers.

Once installed, the virus would allow conspirators to capture a user's keystrokes, remotely access the infected computer, download files and turn on webcams.

In November 2009, according to allegations in the indictment, the pair tried to hijack a computer in the university president's office.

Camp allegedly instructed an administrative assistant to plug the thumb drive into her computer.

She declined, handing the drive back to Camp, according to court records.

The alleged conspiracy unwound the next month when federal agents in New York arrested Camp in Rochester after he allegedly offered to sell them 90,000 personal identities from the university database for $35,000, according to court records there.

Fowler admitted Wednesday that after hearing of the arrest, he encrypted and destroyed computer evidence that he thought could be used against him.

When university administrators learned of the data loss, they notified those who may have been affected, alerting them to steps they could take to detect the misuse of personal information.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send e-mail to mmorris@kcstar.com.

To see more of The Kansas City Star, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.kansascity.com. Copyright (c) 2011, The Kansas City Star, Mo.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

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