A British Hacker in America
The Story of PMF & 'Operation Cybersnare' - The Secret Service's First Online Sting
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Before you'd even heard of Kevin Mitnick, or even knew what a hacker was, there were faceless individuals scouring the world's early computer and telephone systems - searching for knowledge and enlightenment. PMF was one of the best.
In 1995, the U.S. Secret Service ran the first online internet sting in New Jersey. It was in place to catch hackers who were breaking into large communication carriers, and the people who were exploiting the systems to their advantage. It all started when a British hacker was caught breaking into company phone switches in New Jersey.
Our story starts in 1981 on the Isle of Wight, England. PMF was one of the first to pick up and use computers to his advantage - knowing more than the teachers, he promptly took over the computers - breaking into systems at his school to move cute girls into classes near to his. Systems were never damaged, just carefully put back as they were so his tracks were not found.
Later in our story, as so-called "phone phreaks" were learning how to make free phone calls to the USA from the UK, PMF got to meet and exchange ideas with some of the coolest of the bunch.
Once in the US, he took the group under his wing - only to be double crossed by a close friend when federal agents later arrested them.
A deal was struck between the agency and PMF. He would help them catch people who were making a financial gain from exploiting the cellular phone companies, and teach the corporations the many tricks he had learned over the years which allowed him to penetrate their systems.
The story concludes with the raiding of 12 locations throughout the USA, along with the arrest of at least 6 major hackers.
"He was a real hacker, a master at penetrating computer networks to gather information" Bergen County, New Jersey Record