Hacker charged with threatening US VP using neighbour's PC

Frame-up alleged


A hacker tried to frame his neighbour by tapping into his Wi-Fi and sending threatening emails to US vice president Joe Biden, according to search warrant affidavits unsealed last week.

Computer expert Barry Ardolf, 45, is charged with using someone else's computer to send a threatening email to Biden. However, the affidavits reveal years of disputes between Ardolf and neighbours from different areas he's lived in.

Ardolf, of Blaine, Minneapolis, had been using his tech skills to harass his current neighbours, according to the affidavits filed by FBI Special Agent Robert Cameron. As well as the Biden emails, he's alleged to have sent indecent images of children to his neighbour's work colleagues, using fake email accounts he'd set up in the neighbours' name. He's also alleged to have stolen personal information and sent offensive messages.

This is an example of his email style. "I was thinking of you on Valentines Day. I wouldn't mind at all if you wanted to sneak me a kiss when nobody is looking. Remember what Bill Clinton finally fessed up to? I want that from you!"

The neighbour also had a MySpace page set up in his name that also contained child pornography, and asked whether there were "any ladies looking for a good time, I'm married but my spouse bites big time".

The threat to Biden read, in part: "This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don't have ... I'm assigning myself to be judge, jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don't have, it's time to pay the ultimate price."

Fed investigators chased the messages to Ardolf by tracing devices tapping into his neighbours' Wi-Fi. This led to the FBI seizing multiple computers, hard drives and routers following a search of Ardolf's home in July 2009. Social Security numbers, dates of birth, income information and the address for Ardolf's former neighbours where he lived several years ago were found.

Ardolf was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of threats to the president and successors to the presidency. He is scheduled to appear in federal court this week. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Israeli air raid sirens triggered in possible cyberattack
    Source remains unclear, plenty suspect Iran

    Air raid sirens sounded for over an hour in parts of Jerusalem and southern Israel on Sunday evening – but bombs never fell, leading some to blame Iran for compromising the alarms. 

    While the perpetrator remains unclear, Israel's National Cyber Directorate did say in a tweet that it suspected a cyberattack because the air raid sirens activated were municipality-owned public address systems, not Israel Defense Force alarms as originally believed. Sirens also sounded in the Red Sea port town of Eilat. 

    Netizens on social media and Israeli news sites pointed the finger at Iran, though a diplomatic source interviewed by the Jerusalem Post said there was no certainty Tehran was behind the attack. The source also said Israel faces cyberattacks regularly, and downplayed the significance of the incident. 

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • Biden tours Samsung fab, talks chip cooperation with South Korea
    Factory is a model for one the company has planned in Texas

    US president Joe Biden kicked off his first Asian tour since taking office in South Korea, where he visited a Samsung semiconductor fab said to be the model for the company's planned plant in Taylor, Texas.

    While speaking at the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek Campus, Biden said the region will be a key part of the next several decades – a reason "to invest in one another to deepen our business ties.". 

    Much of the talk on Biden's five-day trip to South Korea and Japan will center around broader deepening of economic and business ties. In Pyeongtaek, however, the emphasis was on semiconductor cooperation. While touring the plant with recently elected South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol, Biden noted "these little chips are the key to propelling us into the next era of humanity's technological development."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022