Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

N.Y. Teen Pair Charged In MySpace Extortion Plot

Two New York men were arrested in Los Angeles and charged with trying to extort $150,000 from the popular social networking site MySpace.com, prosecutors announced Wednesday. If convicted, they face prison time.

Shaun Harrison, 18, and Saverio Mondelli,19, both from Long Island's Suffolk County, allegedly hacked MySpace by exploiting a service vulnerability that let them steal users' personal information. MySpace discovered the intrusion, and went to the joint local and federal task force in L.A. that is in charge of investigating computer crimes.

During that investigation, Harrison and Mondelli supposedly threatened to release new exploit code unless MySpace came up with $150,000. The two New Yorkers traveled to California Friday to meet with MySpace employees, but were met instead by undercover agents from the U.S. Secret Service and the L.A. district attorney's office, who arrested them in the sting.

They were arraigned Wednesday and remain in custody, the district attorney's office said in a statement. A preliminary hearing is set for June 5.

Each has been charged with two felony counts of illegal computer access and one count of sending a threatening letter for extortion and attempted extortion. If convicted on all charges, Harrison and Mondelli face more than 4 years in prison.

  • 1