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Published: Friday, 9/13/2013

Toledo man gets 3 years for hacking Web sites

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

SALT LAKE CITY — A Toledo man who admitted to hacking into police Web sites across the country and then bragging about it was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison by a federal judge in Utah.

John A. Borell III, 22, was ordered to pay nearly $227,000 in restitution to the agencies whose Web sites he compromised.

The restitution represents the amount each agency paid to repair its site and to deal with the consequences of his hacking.

Borell, a Sylvania Northview High School graduate, was connected to the notorious hacker group, Anonymous. He was arrested in Toledo in March, 2012, on charges of computer intrusion.

On April 15, a day before he was scheduled to go to trial, Borell signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which he admitted to hacking into the Web sites of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association on Jan. 19, 2012; the Salt Lake City Police Department on Jan. 31, 2012; the Syracuse, N.Y. Police Department on Feb. 1, 2012; the city of Springfield, Mo., on Feb. 18. 2012, and the Los Angeles County Police Canine Association on Feb. 20, 2012.

“Regarding all of these hacks, I knew that what I was doing was illegal,” the plea agreement states. “I admit that I intentionally caused damage to protected computers by my conduct, in that I impaired the integrity and availability of data and programs on the systems that I hacked into.”

In several of the instances, Borell admitted he “advertised, via the Internet, that I had compromised the security” of the site “knowing that the people I was informing of the hack would take advantage of the compromised site.” Confidential personal and investigatory information was compromised and public services interrupted because of his actions, the plea agreement states.

Borell, who could have received 31 years in prison, was permitted by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby to travel to California to meet his new wife’s family and then to turn himself in by Dec. 6 to begin serving the sentence, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Neither his attorney nor the assistant U.S. attorney could be reached for comment.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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