Moscow billboard porn hacker busted

Hacker says last month's pornographic video billboard broadcast, which brought traffic to a halt, was a stunt.

When a Russian hacker last month broke into a giant video advertising billboard located in Moscow to run a pornographic film on it, it caused some chaos in city traffic. But Russian news sources Thursday report police in the southern city of Novorossiisk have arrested the suspected billboard hacker.

Black Hat 2009: How to hack a parking meterThough not identifying him by name, a statement from the Interior Ministry's high-tech crime unit says the suspected billboard hacker is a 41-year-old unemployed man who police believe used the IP address of an organization based in Chechnya to breach a Moscow server in order to upload his pornographic video, according to The Moscow Times.

The pornographic video appeared on a tall electronic billboard in Moscow's Garden Ring Road on Jan. 14, which brought traffic to a halt and had pedestrians filming the episode on their cell phones.

According to the Interfax news service, police say the suspect had previously worked as a systems administrator but had been laid off.

Statements attributed to police sources says the hacker was breaking into computers out of curiosity and had admitted to the stunt, which he allegedly said was an effort to entertain. But the suspected billboard hacker faces charges of illegal distribution of pornography and illegal computer access, which could bring him two years in jail if convicted.

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Ellen Messmer

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