27 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Jerome T. Heckenkamp, 25, presently of Santa Monica, California was sentenced today in federal court in San Jose. United States District Court Judge James Ware sentenced Mr. Heckenkamp to 8 months in prison and 8 months of electronic monitoring and home confinement, for gaining unauthorized access into and damaging computer systems of several high-technology companies, including eBay in San Jose and Qualcomm in San Diego, as a graduate student in computer science at the University of Wisconsin in 1999.
As part of his sentence, Judge James Ware also ordered Mr. Heckenkamp to pay restitution to the victim companies in the amount of $268,291 and serve a three-year term of supervised release, during which time he will be prohibited from using a computer with Internet access absent approval from a probation officer. In imposing the sentence, Judge Ware found that Mr. Heckenkamp had obstructed justice by attempting to influence other witnesses and that his computer science training facilitated the commission of the offenses.
Mr. Heckenkamp’s sentence results from his guilty pleas in January 2004 to two counts of gaining unauthorized access into a computer and recklessly causing damage, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(5)(B). In pleading guilty, Mr. Heckenkamp admitted that he gained unauthorized access to eBay computers during February and March 1999. Using this unauthorized access, Mr. Heckenkamp admitted that he defaced an eBay Web page using the name “MagicFX,” and that he installed “trojan” computer programs – or programs containing malicious code masked inside apparently harmless programs – on the eBay computers that secretly captured usernames and passwords that Mr. Heckenkamp later used to gain unauthorized access into other eBay computers.
Mr. Heckenkamp also admitted that he gained unauthorized access to Qualcomm computers in San Diego in late 1999 using a computer from his dorm room at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Once he gained this unauthorized access, Mr. Heckenkamp admitted that he installed multiple “trojans” programs which captured usernames and passwords he later used to gain unauthorized access into more Qualcomm computers. In determining his sentence, the Court also considered losses resulting from defendant’s intrusions into computer systems of Exodus Communications, Juniper Networks, Lycos, and Cygnus Solutions. He is scheduled to surrender on July 11, 2005.
The prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Computer Intrusion Squad in the Northern and Southern Districts of California. The investigation was overseen by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Mark L. Krotoski is the Assistant U.S. Attorney from the CHIP Unit who prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher P. Sonderby, Chief of the CHIP Unit, at (408) 535-5037, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov.