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World of Warcraft Hacker Gets Federal Prison Sentence

When you're a kid, grown-ups seem so mature and wise. And then you become an adult and you realize that grown-ups can be just as immature and petty as children, but with less of an excuse and a lot more power. In one shining display of adulthood, a grown man launched a cyberattack on the servers of the video game, "World of Warcraft," after getting angry at his online opponents. Now that gamer will spend a year in a grown-up federal prison.

If the drug name fentanyl rings a bell, that's because it has been linked to thousands of accidental overdoses in heroin users. Carfentanil might be less well known, but is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, and 5,000 times more potent than heroin. It's supposed to be used as an elephant tranquilizer, but its toxicity in humans has aroused concerns that it could potentially be used by terrorists as a weapon of mass destruction.

Sky Justin Gornik, who just plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances via the dark web, had enough carfentanil in his home when he was arrested to cause over 86,000 fatalities. Gornik is now facing life behind bars.

Woman Killed After Flaunting Money on Social Media

You wouldn't go to a questionable part of town and let everyone know that you were carrying wads of cash. Likewise, you shouldn't post pictures of yourself with a bunch of money on social media. You can't be sure who will see it or if they have the ability to track you down. In a tragic case out of Illinois, one woman was killed in a home invasion after a man at the residence posted a photo flaunting a recently-acquired sum of money.

New Law Punishes Websites for Sex Trafficking

Law enforcement has long sought better ways to combat the scourge of sex trafficking that has grown by leaps and bounds with the help of the internet. On Tuesday, they received a significant boost as President Trump signed a law targeting online sex trafficking and enabling prosecutors and victims to sue websites for their part in the criminal activity.

Will Bitcoin Become Illegal After Child Porn Links Discovery?

When it comes to bitcoin, you either follow the virtual currency religiously, or your eyes gloss over at the mere mention of it. And if you've invested in it, you may be dizzy with all the ups and downs it's had in terms of value. Now, some researchers say they discovered links to child pornography in bitcoin's blockchain, and that anyone who downloads a blockchain could be legally responsible for the illegal images contained in it. But is that true?

Man Pleads Guilty to Harassing LA Islamic Center on Social Media

Mark Feigin wasn't shy about his views. According to CNN, the real estate agent and Uber driver admittedly has 'a big mouth' and strong views on Islam, telling investigators that he wasn't 'really a fan of Islam. I don't like their views.' He freely posted those views on the Facebook page of the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles back in September of 2016.

Those comments, along with a mysterious, threatening phone call, launched a hate crimes investigation that pleaded out last week. It's a tale with some intrigue offering a look at social media harassment and the law.

Is Doxing Illegal?

Depending on your point of view, releasing a person's identifying information on the internet might be one of the few ways to hold someone accountable for hateful actions or an avenue to unleashing hate upon an undeserving someone else. Trying to out white supremacists who participated in political violence? You might support it. But what about a person misidentified during those efforts? Or what about the other side using the same tactics to target opponents with harassment?

Either way, doxing has remained, thus far, a largely legal activity. But that doesn't mean doxing can't stem from or lead to a crime.

Swatting, the asinine behavior of gamers reporting crimes at the addresses of other gamers, can have serious consequences. Take the case of Andrew Finch, first the victim of an elaborate swatting prank in which a murder and hostage situation were called into his Wichita, Kansas home, then the victim of a police officer's bullet.

Police are putting the blame for Finch's death squarely on the alleged prankster, Tyler Barriss, a 25-year-old Los Angeles man who was arrested in connection with the killing. But who's ultimately responsible?

2017: The Year in Cybercrime

As more and more of our social life and day-to-day business exists online, the more criminals will try to take advantage of the internet and access to our personal information. But identity theft is far from the only cybercrime, and the past year demonstrated that.

Here are the major cybercrime stories from 2017:

The protection racket is an old criminal enterprise, consisting of extorting money from people or businesses to keep them safe. Safe from whom? Well, from you of course.

And it turns out you can teach an old crime new tricks. Paras Jha and Josiah White ran a company that specialized in mitigating DDoS attacks (when multiple computer systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system, shutting it down). The two also created the Mirai botnet and, as Brian Krebs put it, "[l]ike firemen getting paid to put out the fires they started," targeted organizations with DDoS attacks in order to boost their clientele. Jha, White, and co-conspirator Dalton Norman pleaded guilty to federal computer crime charges this week, after their botnet shut down large swaths of the internet last year.