WebTV 911 Prankster Guilty

By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus Feb 17 2005 3:22PM

A Louisiana man pleaded guilty this week to two federal felonies for tricking a handful of MSN TV users into running a malicious e-mail attachment that reprogrammed their set-top boxes to dial 9-1-1 emergency response.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, David Jeansonne, 44, admitted to committing a computer attack that created a threat to public health or safety, and to damaging a protected computer and causing a least $5,000 in harm.

According to court records, Jeansonne was targeting 18 specific MSN TV users in an online squabble when he crafted the script in July 2002, and sent it out disguised as a tool to change the colors on MSN TV's user interface. Though the code didn't mass-mail itself to others, some of the recipients were sufficiently fooled that they forwarded it to friends, for a total of 21 victims.

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