from the internet-equivalent-to-road-rage dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Barry Ardolf, a Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a 'depraved criminal,' has been handed an 18-year prison term for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors' lives into a living nightmare. Ardolf hacked into his next-door neighbors' Wi-Fi network and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct, and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden. The bizarre tale began in 2009 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved into the house next door to Ardolf. On their first day at their new home, the Kostolnik's then-4-year-old son wandered near Ardolf's house. While carrying him back next door, Ardolf allegedly kissed the boy on the lips. 'We've just moved next door to a pedophile,' Mrs. Kostolnik told her husband. The couple reported Ardolf to the police, angering their creepy new neighbor (PDF). 'I decided to "get even" by launching computer attacks against him,' said Ardolf, who downloaded Wi-Fi hacking software and spent two weeks cracking the Kostolnik's WEP encryption. Then he used their own Wi-Fi network to create a fake MySpace page for the husband, where he posted a picture of a pubescent girl having sex with two young boys. Ardolf turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements."
"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish
it wasn't this one."
-- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN