The 2013 computer crime blotter

Prisons around the world this year made way for techie criminals alongside the more garden-variety murderers, thieves, and schemers

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Kariem McFarlin, 35, was arrested in August last year by officers from the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, a Silicon Valley-based high-tech crime unit formed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.REACT officers found McFarlin with help from Apple security, which tracked where the stolen devices were being used by matching their serial numbers with connections to Apple iTunes servers. The IP address in use matched a line in McFarlin's apartment in nearby Alameda that was also being used by an Apple device registered to a member of his family, according to a police report.

The leader of a U.S. online piracy group that covertly recorded movies showing in theaters and offered them online was sentenced in January to five years in prison.

Jeramiah Perkins headed a group that called itself "IMAGiNE," which used camcorders as well as FM and infrared receivers to capture video and audio of movies, according to an indictment filed April last year in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he was sentenced. The captured files were then uploaded to the group's servers and later pieced together and edited to reproduce the movies.

Three men were sentenced in the U.K. in January for their roles in a series of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks launched against financial and music industry organizations in 2010 by the Anonymous hacktivist collective.Christopher Weatherhead, 22, of Northampton and Ashley Rhodes, 28, of Camberwell, London, received prison sentences of 18 months and 7 months respectively for conspiracy to impair the operation of computers, a representative of the Southwark Crown Court Clerk's Office in London said Friday.

Another co-conspirator, Peter Gibson, 24, of Hartlepool, received a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years and 100 hours of community service, the court's representative said.

The conspiracy charges brought against the three men were in connection with DDoS attacks launched in 2010 against PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, the British Phonographic Industry, the Ministry of Sound record label and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. These attacks were part of an Anonymous DDoS campaign called Operation Payback.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

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