Man pleads guilty to wireless hack into stores

An American man pleaded guilty on Friday to four counts of wire fraud and unauthorized access to a computer after he and two accomplices used a vulnerable wireless network at a home improvement store in Michigan to attempt to steal credit card numbers from the company's main computer systems.

Brian Salcedo could face up to 18 years in prison for the crime, which the government claims could have caused more than US$2.5 million in damages. However, federal prosecutors will ask for a more lenient sentence in exchange for Salcedo's cooperation in other investigations stemming from the incident and full disclosure of details about the intrusions on Lowe's network, according to a copy of the plea agreement.

The case stems from a series of hacks in October and November 2003 in which Salcedo's two accomplices, Adam Botbyl and Paul Timmins, discovered a loosely protected wireless local area network connection at a Lowe's store in Michigan, while scanning for open connections, or "war driving" in the area.

The trio subsequently used the open access point to compromise the entire corporate network of the North Carolina-based home improvement store company, hacking into stores in California, Kansas, South Dakota and other states in the weeks that followed. Among other things, the three attempted to install a modified version of a credit processing program called "tcpcredit" that skimmed credit account information for every transaction processed at a particular Lowe's store, according to the indictment files with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

In November, a grand jury indicted the three on sixteen counts of wire fraud and unauthorized intrusion. In May, both Salcedo and Botbyl reached plea agreements, with Botbyl agreeing to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a nationwide computer network.

The third and final member of the group, Paul Timmins, is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on June 28.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?