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Two Men Plead Guilty to Hacking Law Enforcement Database for Doxing

Sagar Steven Singh and Nicholas Ceraolo pleaded guilty to hacking a database maintained by a US federal law enforcement agency.

Two men from New York and Rhode Island have pleaded guilty to hacking into a database maintained by a US federal law enforcement agency and using stolen personal information to extort people.

Charged last year, the two, Sagar Steven Singh, 20, and Nicholas Ceraolo, 26, were part of an extortion group called Vile, which sought to harvest personal information and then post or threaten to post it on a public website, an action referred to as doxing.

Victims were then asked to pay the miscreants to have their personal information removed from the website.

According to the Department of Justice, the two used a stolen password for a law enforcement officer’s account to access a non-public portal containing information on narcotics and currency seizures, along with law enforcement intelligence reports.

Singh threatened to harm one victim’s family unless they provided the credentials for their Instagram accounts, sharing with the victim their personal information that was extracted from the database and claiming he could obtain information on anyone in the US.

Communication between Singh and Ceraolo shows that the two were aware that it was illegal for them to access the law enforcement portal. They were also aware of the potential of the tools they could access through the portal.

The two face between two and seven years in prison for their actions, the DoJ says.

“The defendants called themselves ‘ViLe’, and their actions were exactly that. They hacked into a law enforcement database and had access to sensitive personal information, then threatened to harm a victim’s family and publicly release that information unless the defendants were ultimately paid money,” US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said.

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Related: Hacker Caught Stealing Personal Data of 132,000 Individuals Pleads Guilty

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Related: Pentagon Leaker Jack Teixeira Pleads Guilty Under a Deal That Calls for at Least 11 Years in Prison

Related: Russian Pleads Guilty to Role in Developing TrickBot Malware

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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