Blind Hacker Hit with 11-Year Sentence

A blind man tracked by the FBI since he was a teenager was sentenced to prison recently for his role in hacking into a telephone system and intimidating a Verizon security investigator. The court sentenced him to 135 months in prison.

A blind Boston-area hacker was hit with more than 11 years in prison June 26 for his role in hacking into a telephone network and threatening the Verizon investigator building a case against him.

Matthew Weigman, 19, also known as "Little Hacker," was accused of being part of a gang of telephone hackers that made more than 60 fake emergency calls and broke into the phone network to make it appear as though the calls came from somewhere else.

Weigman pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to retaliate against a witness, victim or informant as well as one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. According to Wired, which has interviewed Weigman in the past about his activities, the FBI had been chasing the hacker since he was 15, and at times treated him as an informant. As part of his plea, he admitted to conspiring with other hackers to place bogus emergency calls that sent SWAT units to the homes of their unsuspecting victims.

Weigman used a number of techniques to break into the phone systems, including war-dialing, where he and the others would call thousands of phone numbers with the hope of gaining access to a system.

Another defendant in the case, 23-year-old Sean Paul Benton, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to obstruct justice.