US 'hacker next door' gets 18-year sentence: report

Jul 13, 2011
A US man who hacked into his neighbors' Wi-Fi network and tried to frame them with child pornography and threatening emails to the US vice president has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.

A US man who hacked into his neighbors' Wi-Fi network and tried to frame them with child pornography and threatening emails to the US vice president has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.

US Donovan Frank sentenced Barry Ardolf, 46, on Tuesday after listening to the tearful testimony of Bethany Kostolnik, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

"My husband and I had to explain to our young, innocent children way too early that there are evil people in the world -- and to never go in Barry Ardolf's yard," she said, according to the newspaper.

"Until Ardolf was incarcerated, not a day went by that I didn't think about another attack," her husband Matt Kostolnik said.

"Barry Ardolf has demonstrated by his conduct that he is a dangerous man," US attorneys prosecuting the case said in court documents.

"When he became angry at his neighbors, he vented his anger in a bizarre and calculated campaign of terror against them."

The trouble began in August 2008 when the Kostolniks, who had just moved into the neighborhood, reported Ardolf to police after he picked up their four-year-old son and kissed him on the mouth, according to US attorneys.

Ardolf then began exacting revenge by hacking into their Wi-Fi network and creating fake email addresses, which he used to send crude messages and to Matt Kostolnik's co-workers and boss, the said.

After Ardolf sent threatening emails in Kostolnik's name to Vice President and others, investigators discovered the hacking following a search of Ardolf's home in the summer of 2009.

Ardolf initially arranged a plea deal that would have had him serve two to five years in prison, but later backed out of it and fired his attorney.

In December Ardolf again pleaded guilty before changing his mind and trying to arrange another deal, but the prosecuting US attorney held him to the plea.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Guilty plea in Seattle 'botnet' case

May 05, 2006

A California man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a "botnet" attack last year that damaged U.S. Department of Defense computers.

Calif. man used Facebook to hack women's e-mails

Jan 15, 2011

(AP) -- In a cautionary tale for users of social-networking sites, a California man has admitted using personal information he gleaned from Facebook to hack into women's e-mail accounts, then send nude pictures ...

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Husky
not rated yet Jul 13, 2011
it was a bit too obvious, most child pornographers use anonymous accounts, its not like they want to get their signature in public, but it was an evil destructive campaign nonetheless and 18 years should serve him right, it wouldn't surprise me if the convicted is a child pornographer himself who used wifi wardriving to satisfy his perverted needs in an anonymous way.
frajo
not rated yet Jul 13, 2011
Seems to have been a stupid guy. Had he engaged somehow in torture, his punishment would have been milder. Unfortunately, not so for his victims.
gwrede
not rated yet Jul 13, 2011
So, next time this happens, just move away, or kill the new neighbor. You'll do less time for manslaughter. And save a lot of work and grief.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.