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Hacker Tries To Land IT Job At Marriott Via Extortion 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-have-not-thought-this-through dept.
wiredmikey writes "A tough global economy has certainly created challenges for many people looking for jobs, but one Hungarian man took things to another level in an effort to gain employment at hotel giant Marriott International. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to charges that he hacked into Marriott computer systems and threatened to reveal confidential company information if Marriott didn't offer him a job. Assuming his efforts were working, with the possibility of a new job with Marriott in his sights, the hacker arrived at Washington Dulles Airport on Jan. 17, 2011, using an airline ticket purchased by Marriott for him. He thought he would be attending a job interview with Marriott personnel. Unbeknown to him, he was actually being 'interviewed' by a Secret Service agent posing as a Marriott employee."
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Hacker Tries To Land IT Job At Marriott Via Extortion

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  • The fool! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @03:03AM (#38180236)

    He should've used Guru Meditation instead!

    • by rvw (755107)

      He should've used Guru Meditation instead!

      Still comes in handy for the next ten year or so.

  • Secret Service (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @03:18AM (#38180252) Journal

    Why is the Secret Service involved? This doesn't seem to involve currency or protection of VIPs.

  • IT Darwin awards? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @03:19AM (#38180254)

    I wonder if there is an equivalent of Darwin awards for IT/Geek/Nerd stuf...

    • by rvw (755107)

      I wonder if there is an equivalent of Darwin awards for IT/Geek/Nerd stuf...

      Doesn't qualify. If he had extorted Osama Bin Laden (who was still alive then), like in "give me a job or I tell the CIA where you live", then he might have had a chance...

      • "I wonder if there is an equivalent of Darwin awards for IT/Geek/Nerd stuf..."

        "Doesn't qualify."

        Not yet, but maybe he'll get lucky and get stabbed in jail ;-)

    • by Kumiorava (95318)

      Hmm... isn't being a IT/Geek/Nerd pretty much Darwin Award material as itself?

  • "I love stupid criminals" ...

  • One wonders what this guy had in mind as his best case scenario in this endeavor.
    How did he think this was going to turn out, and in what world does he get to keep the job and his freedom and the money?

    • by rvw (755107)

      One wonders what this guy had in mind as his best case scenario in this endeavor.
      How did he think this was going to turn out, and in what world does he get to keep the job and his freedom and the money?

      He lived in the world called Hungary. Maybe he should have tried his luck at home. Considering the corruption over there, he might have had a chance to get hired because of his creative thinking, if he had chosen the right company with the right corrupt manager who would have been clever enough to recognize his talent.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      That's what I want to know. I can see two "positive outcomes" he could have hoped for.

      1) After signing his employment contract with Marriott he would dismantle his backdoors in their systems and Marriott would obviously be stuck with him because the contract.

      2) He would keep his backdoors in place, to use as leverage should Marriott attempt to fire him or change the brand of coffee in the office to one that is not to his liking.

      No-one above the age of six should consider his plan to be anything but hopeless

  • Hungary = China? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @03:31AM (#38180304)

    This sounds very familiar - http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/11/26/206252/china-to-cancel-college-majors-that-dont-pay [slashdot.org]

    And a link within http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/06/19/smart-young-and-broke.html [thedailybeast.com]

    "Guo and an estimated million others like him represent an unprecedented and troublesome development in China: a fast-growing white-collar underclass. Since the ’90s, Chinese universities have doubled their admissions, far outpacing the job market for college grads. This year China’s universities and tech institutes churned out roughly 6.3 million graduates. Many grew up in impoverished rural towns and villages and attended second- or third-tier schools in the provinces, trusting that studying hard would bring them better lives than their parents had. But when they move on and apply for jobs in Beijing or Shanghai or any of China’s other booming metropolises, they get a nasty shock."

    So, this Hungarian man this article is about probably belonged to the same class, unemployed with a specialized degree.

    Europe and the US have had this situation for thirty years, but for China it must be some shocking news. How many Chinese cyber-crimes more do we (or Chinese hotels) want? We have enough of the Hungarians.

    • by ghjm (8918)

      So what do you want to do about it? Deny them access to education so they don't get so uppity?

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:00AM (#38180412)
    So a guy tries to extort a jov from a big corporation and gets busted. Meanwhile, corporate extortion is alive and well.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-25/business/chi-state-lawmakers-poised-to-act-on-tax-breaks-for-sears-cme-20111125_1_income-tax-tax-credit-cme-group [chicagotribune.com]

    CME Group, parent of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has threatened to leave the state in protest of a temporary increase to the state's corporate income tax rate. The proposal would tax income from just 27.54 percent of electronic transactions on local exchanges, costing the state an estimated $100 million a year.

    Sears, for its part, would see a renewal of a special taxing district in Hoffman Estates. This would allow Sears to continue to get a break on local property taxes, although at a lower level. Under the deal, the retailer also would also receive a state incentive package to retain jobs here. That would to include tax credits worth $15 million a year for 10 years, another $150 million in potential tax breaks.

    So we know that the Hungarian guy was trying to use what he perceived as his individual power to force Marriott to give him a job. Now we see two large Illinois companies use their real power to skip out on their corporate responsibility to support the state. They consume a lot of state resources, and they use their political influence to be parasites and free loaders. Since they got away with it this time, what's to stop them from deciding that they are going to pay no taxes in the coming years, like GE did last year?

    All I see is the rich and powerful get away with de-facto extortion, and the individual getting nailed for trying to extort. One set of laws for the rich, another set for the poor.

    • by jklovanc (1603149) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:27AM (#38180514)

      The Corporate threat was to move to a state with a lower tax rate. That is not extortion. It is giving a state a chance to match an offer made by another state. People do it all the time when they buy things and companies advertise that they will match advertised prices. If all other states had a higher tax rate Sears would not be talking about moving.

      That is very different than saying they will release confidential information.

      • When you are talking small purchases, no there is usually no room for negotiation. However turns out when purchases get large, you have some power. When I was getting a new A/C for my place I solicited multiple bids. After that I took the bids I liked best in terms of what I was getting, but not in terms of price, and talked to them again. When they found out I had other bids, all of a sudden the price went down. I wasn't "extorting" anyone. I was just giving them a change to be as competitive as possible.

        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          No, there is always room for negotiation. If you try to negotiate with Walmart, you won't get anything. But, if you negotiate with Tom, owner of Tom's Toys, you might get a deal.
           
          The primary reason no one, at least in the U.S., haggles is because it is no longer socially acceptable,

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        The Corporate threat was to move to a state with a lower tax rate. That is not extortion. It is giving a state a chance to match an offer made by another state. People do it all the time when they buy things and companies advertise that they will match advertised prices. If all other states had a higher tax rate Sears would not be talking about moving.

        That is very different than saying they will release confidential information.

        But why do we permit our corporations to get our states to bid against each other? Why do we permit our corporations to get other countries to bid against the United States?

        The only reason for allowing corporations in the first place is "the public benefit." Is it in the public benefit to allow corporations to pit us against ourselves?

        • by Kjella (173770)

          But why do we permit our corporations to get our states to bid against each other? Why do we permit our corporations to get other countries to bid against the United States? The only reason for allowing corporations in the first place is "the public benefit." Is it in the public benefit to allow corporations to pit us against ourselves?

          You're heading into an area that is almost as much economic philosophy as empirical evidence. The US philosophy is that it is ultimately to the public benefit if everything is produced as cheaply as possible. If you can lower wages and sell cheaper products or services, that's to the public benefit even though the workers earn less. Competition is supposed to make sure the savings are passed on to the consumers. If workers unionize and retain more of the earnings, they're killing the competitiveness and ult

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Solandri (704621)

      So a guy tries to extort a jov from a big corporation and gets busted. Meanwhile, corporate extortion is alive and well.

      If you cannot see the difference between these two, then you are suffering from an entitlement mentality. He is not entitled to a job at Marriott. Illinois is not entitled to have any company (or person) stay within their borders. If he does something to coerce Marriott to give him a job which they don't want to give him, that is fraud. If Illinois does something to coerce the Chicag

      • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @05:39AM (#38180776)

        Nice subtle job of mis-framing, there. Lemme fix that for you: since corporations are in fact already comprised of people who individually are already represented in Congress, why should those people receive twice the representation as anyone who doesn't work for said corporation, by allowing the corporation itself explicit representation?

        Gee, how fair-minded of you to propose that one tribe of people should be allowed more representation than others not in that tribe. Is that really your idea of equal representation?

        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          Corporations are considered legal entities and have their own interests which are guaranteed to be against the interests of at least some if not all of their employees interests. Corporations are not unions and do not represent the interests of their employees or board of directors.
           
          It is a shame you didn't do as good a job of "mis-framing" in your shift from whether this is extortion to political representation.

          • by macraig (621737)

            It's a shame you didn't do a better job of discrediting my argument. You actually supported it, apparently without even realizing it, in your zeal to concoct *something* to ease the unidentified anxiety you felt after reading my post.

            In terms of my argument, it doesn't even matter if there are members of a corporate tribe whose interests don't all align perfectly with those of the corporation as a whole. In terms of the argument, it's simply not necessary that ALL elements of the set benefit equally or at

        • Lemme fix that for you: since corporations are in fact already comprised of people who individually are already represented in Congress, why should those people receive twice the representation as anyone who doesn't work for said corporation, by allowing the corporation itself explicit representation?

          Well, to be fair, those people also pay twice the tax: first, individually as people, then collectively as a corporation. So this argument wouldn't really work...

          • by macraig (621737)

            No, "they" - the principals of the corporate tribe - don't pay twice the tax, because the whole point of the corporation is to shield them from liability and sequester some of their assets. It's absolutely fair to tax BOTH what those principals take home as personal gains as well as what they sequester in the corporation itself. The corporation exists for their benefit specifically. The same material wealth isn't taxed twice.

        • Nice subtle job of mis-framing, there. Lemme fix that for you: since corporations are in fact already comprised of people who individually are already represented in Congress, why should those people receive twice the representation as anyone who doesn't work for said corporation, by allowing the corporation itself explicit representation?

          Gee, how fair-minded of you to propose that one tribe of people should be allowed more representation than others not in that tribe. Is that really your idea of equal representation?

          In some cases, I'd say it's a lot more than twice the representation.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:35AM (#38181188)

        But somehow some people have arrived at the belief that corporations should not be considered persons

        Is a company a human being? Not it is not. Some insane tax related legislation in the USA might suggest it is. If so, it's wrong.

        A company's owners and employees are human beings. But not the company itself.

        If you can find a distinction between a human being and a person, other than in legislation which has been lobbied for by business I'd like to see it.

        What we have here is law consciously not representing reality, for rich people's benefit.

        and should not have any say in government, yet they should be taxed

        There is absolutely no reason why a company should not be taxed. It's entirely unrelated to the silly idea that it's a human being.

        parasite freeloading off of corporations.

        There's nothing stopping corporations conducting their business in international waters, without any government interference or taxation. Hard to see how they make any money though.

        There's nothing stopping corporations conducting their business in Somalia, without any government interference or taxation. Hard to see how they make any money though. And hard to see how the owners and employees based there would stay alive long.

        Companies rely on the infrastructure, environment and legal structure that governments put there. That's the reason it's OK to tax them.

        • Is a company a human being? Not it is not. Some insane tax related legislation in the USA might suggest it is. If so, it's wrong.

          Also remember: One person, one vote. So even if companies counted as human beings, it would be one vote for Microsoft, one for Apple, one for IBM, one for GE, one for the first janitor working at Microsoft, one for the janitor's wife, one for the janitor's eldest son, one for the janitor's eldest daughter, one for his mom, one for his dad, four for the grandparents...

        • There's nothing stopping corporations conducting their business in international waters, without any government interference or taxation. Hard to see how they make any money though.

          Don't worry. The pirate party will see that even these corporations will be taxed...

    • by macraig (621737)

      And thus it has always been. Everyone knows the cliches "to the victor goes the spoils" and "victors write the history books", but there's another unspoken corollary: "victors write the laws", and also get to choose when and against whom they are actually enforced.

  • that a person can be smart enough to commit a crime like this, but stupid enough to come to the very country where he can be held liable. Just goes to show that humans can have, and by the same token lack in many different types of intelligence.
    • Nemeth admitted that by using malware sent via email to specific employees at Marriott, he was able install malware on Marriott’s systems, giving him “backdoor” access to Marriott company information.

      Geez the guy is actually quite talented. The problem is picking your targets and your customers. Hotels aren't going to give a stuff about their "internal documents" bur actresses with home made porn on their systems will, as will a few large corporations. He should have gone solo and kept his

    • Re:It shocks me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @08:55AM (#38181524) Journal

      I don't see why this should surprise you. This is the general cracker/extortionist mentality at work. It is the "I can get away with anything because the law shouldn't apply to me" mentality that is so often on display here on slashdot, especially when it comes to things like copyright, privacy, and access. It is the hypocrisy of the mindset that allows things like this to happen. "I will break the law and threaten them and then they will bow down before my genius, give me a job while forgiving my transgressions, and not prosecute me because I will be too valuable to them."

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:25AM (#38180512) Homepage Journal

    Now just avaiting dead-hand trigger software to release said spicy details into the wild.

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:33AM (#38180548)

    I can see the HR person now;
    "So, by hacking us and threatening to divulge confidential information you have shown that you are not trust worthy. You expect us to hire someone we can not trust to be on out premises and roam freely in secure areas? Get real."

  • Just goes to show (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:36AM (#38180564)
    You can be smart and yet incredibly dumb.
  • Really don't know what else to say.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @09:22AM (#38181648)

    I have seen a lot of inflated egos in IT. But this cretin beats them all.

    Typically the real experts do not have them though. Those with very high opinions of themselves and advertising it are usually mediocre or worse. In fact it is a pretty reliable indicator. The Dunning–Kruger effect allies very much. It both explains the number of arrogant idiots and the number of incompetent people in IT.

  • i heard he threatened to release a sex-tape of the founder's great-granddaughter, but later found out everyone has already seen it.

  • This sounds exactly like that sketch from The Onion Movie. "I ain't askin' for no god-damn handout, I want a muthafuckin' job, bitch!"

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