blind phone hacker gets 11-year sentence

A blind teenager known as "Little Hacker" from Boston sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for hacking into the telephone network and harassing the investigator who was building a case against him.

The group he was part of made prank 911 calls using spoofing technology which makes it appear as though the call is being made from a victim's house. The idea is to harass their targets, preferably by having police show up at their door, guns drawn.

Nineteen year old Matthew Weigman was part of a group of telephone hackers that met up on telephone party lines. The group was associated with more than 60 "swatting" calls to 911 numbers across the country. Weigman, became involved in telephone hacking around age 14 and continued to operate until last year.Weigman used his skills to target "employers, landlords, families and friends of multiple party line participants," often in the hope that they would be fired or evicted from their homes.

Weigman was given the longest sentence but most other members of the group have already been sentenced.

He was arrested in May 2008, shortly after showing up at the home of a Verizon investigator who had been building a case against Weigman and the other swatters. Weigman, his brother, and another swatter named Sean Benton drove nearly 70 miles to the investigator's house in order to "intimidate and frighten him," the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement Monday.

On June 12, 2006 another swatter, Guadalupe Martinez, dialed 911 using a spoof card to make it look as though he was calling from an Alvarado, Texas, phone number and told dispatchers that he was holding hostages and had killed family members with an AK47 while high on hallucinogenic drugs.

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