A US man has received the longest jail sentence yet for hacking - a court in North Carolina sentenced him to nine years in prison after he was convicted of breaking into a hardware store's computer system.

The 21-year-old had hacked into the system in the hope of getting hold of customers' credit card details but was largely unsuccessful, according to reports.

Along with an accomplice, he managed to obtain access to the Lowe's chain of hardware store's system by way of its unsecured Wi-Fi network after the pair went 'wardriving'.

The men installed a modified credit-processing program on the company's central network, as well as individual stores' systems, to capture shoppers' financial details but their activities were discovered after their modification of the program caused several point-of-sale machines to crash. Lowe's then called the FBI in.

His wardriving accomplice and another man await sentencing in connection to the case. The man, Brian Salcedo, pleaded guilty earlier this year to wire fraud and hacking charges.

Salcedo has now taken the record for longest sentence for a hacking crime, previously held by Kevin Mitnick, who was sentenced to five and a half years behind bars.

The severity of the sentencing reflects the potential financial damage the men could have done if they had been successful - a figure the government put at $2.5m.

However, the sentence could have been several years longer. Salcedo's jail time was reduced in return for his cooperation in helping the home improvement chain tighten its security.

Source: Silicon News
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