(from Talking Points Memo -- it's a beaut! -- brook)
Congressional aide admits trying to hire hackers -- to boost his college GPA
According to Network World's Paul McNamara, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Todd Shriber, hired two 'hackers' to break into the computer of his alma mater, Texas Christian University, and change his college grades.
He went trolling for the law-breaking 'hackers' on a computer security website. But instead of finding anyone to do his dirty work he came across a couple non-criminally minded techies who proceeded to chat him up about his scheme, draw out in explicit detail that what he was asking them to do involved mulitple felonies and then posted their complete email correspondence on the site, attrition.org.
This all happened back in September. But it was apparently only this week that McNamara, who has a blog at the Network World site, figured out who Todd Shriber was and started trying to get the guy on the record about what the hell he was thinking.
After what was apparently a good deal of prodding, Shriber told McNamara: "I did something that's greatly out of character for me and it's a mistake that I regret." Asked why he attempted this criminal enterprise: ""I would rather not get into that at all. I just got a little too far ahead of myself thinking about things down the road."
I'm tempted to stop there. But the correspondence is just too good in comedy terms and shows that not only does Shriber probably lack the ethical fiber to serve in Congress (I guess that can mean more than one thing) but may also be the stupidest person on the planet.
Here's Shriber's first solicitation ...
I came across Attrition.org for the first time. I enjoyed the site though I am not an expert
with computers. That brings me to my next point: I need to urgently make contact with a hacker that would be interested in doing a one-time job for me. The pay would be good. I'm not sure what exactly the job would entail with respect to computer jargon, but I can go into rough detail upon making contact with a candidate. Thanks for your help.
After he gets the first nibble he assures the 'hacker' he's talking to that ...
the job wouldn't be anything like invading a government mainframe for classified documents or stealing money from a bank. Rather it'd be a modification of some personal data.
Then he puts his cards on the table ...
OK here it is: I need an adjustment to my college GPA. Is this an absurd request?
It pretty much goes down hill from there, with the highlight probably being the request for pictures. The 'hackers' ask for pictures of the campus with squirrels and pigeons to make sure he's 'legit'. He says he doesn't live near campus anymore. Remember, he lives in DC, not Texas. So they tell him any picture of a pigeon or squirrel will do. Don't ask. You've got to read it to believe it.
Here's the picture of a squirrel (looks like near the Capitol) that this imbecile Shriber sent in ...
The whole thing is so amazingly ridiculous that I would be sure the whole thing was a hoax, except a reporter for a legit computer trade publication looked into it and it checked out and he even got the congressional staffer to 'fess up.
(UPDATE: SHRIBER FIRED!)