Arrest Made, Criminal Charge Filed in TSSZ Hacking Probe

Arrest Made, Criminal Charge Filed in TSSZ Hacking Probe

by May 6, 2011

Evidence Suggests Attack Allegedly Enabled from 2009 Community Conflict

22 year old Harrison Moccio of New York state was arrested April 19th and charged in connection with the unauthorized intrusion of this website and the personal E-Mail account belonging to its founder, TSSZ has learned.

On September 28, 2010, Moccio allegedly gained unauthorized access to this website, wiping it clean for a brief period.  Moccio also allegedly gained unauthorized access to this author’s E-Mail account, the contents of which were dumped for unauthorized public review about a week after the initial attack.  Threatening E-Mails were also received shortly after the attack, one of which claimed the aforementioned E-Mail records were sent to “several dozen interested parties.”  The identities of any alleged recipients are not yet known but may be subject to further investigation if ever disclosed.

Moccio is charged with one felony count of computer tampering, TSSZ has learned.  Any possibility of jail time in the event of a conviction will depend on the felony’s classification, amid several other factors.

Many in the community may know Moccio by his Internet handle, HarroSIN.  He was known as one of several allegedly involved in the one-time controversial community focused Sonic Retro offshoot PoundStuff.net, which at one time also allegedly included Retro forum administrator Dustin Wyatt in its core.  As we reported in 2009, PoundStuff was at the center of a phishing scam involving the entire Sonic Retro forum account database, including data tied to this author.  Though there remains uncertainty as to whether the act was intentional, those accounts were compromised when Wyatt allegedly gave fellow PoundStuff head x64 credentials to access Sonic Retro’s forum database, who then allegedly copied that data over to PoundStuff.  While an agreement was reached to remove such data from PoundStuff, with they and Retro allegedly parting ways, that peace was short lived when another warning in November claimed account security remained at risk.  Though PoundStuff as a formal organization has since allegedly disbanded, elements stemming from it remain visible on mediums such as YouTube.

The chain of events and those involved in that conflict, pared with who has been charged since, strongly suggests a link between the 2009 Sonic Retro forum compromise and the 2010 attack on this website via data mining from that compromised database, and may demonstrate the threat against Sonic Retro and its users never went away.

Law enforcement used TSSZ News coverage of that conflict, combined with other legally obtained login records, to track down Moccio.  We thank those who assisted in the investigation thus far, including officials in New York and New Jersey.

For the record, since learning of the arrest and charges late last week, TSSZ staff have made every reasonable effort to contact Wyatt and Sonic Retro head Courtney Grimes to alert them to the matter, the possible continued danger on their end stemming from that breach, and to resolve the matter amicably and in a way that will satisfy all parties.  Neither responded to our requests for mediation, and it remains to be seen whether, in light of this information, Moccio’s credentials on Sonic Retro will be revoked.