A hacker who launched a long-running cyber-attack against a New Hampshire police department has been sent to prison for a year and a day.
Wayne Kenney Jr. broke into the computer systems of the Farnum Center, the Auburn Police Department (APD) and several department employees in 2015 after receiving a suspended sentence for heroin possession.
The Farnum Center is an addiction treatment center based in Manchester, New Hampshire, and it is where 31-year-old Hooksett resident Kenney was sent for drug treatment in early 2015.
After gaining access to the Center’s systems on July 1, Kenney re-routed a drug helpline 1-800 telephone number to an adult entertainment business. He also doctored the Center’s portal so that users who logged in were greeted with a link to a video that showed heroin being injected.
“The defendant’s reprehensible actions caused significant harm to entities that seek to help the public,” said Acting US Attorney John Farley in a statement.
“By disabling access to drug and alcohol treatment information, the defendant cruelly impeded innocent people from getting help for their substance abuse problems. His actions also harmed innocent public servants in Auburn.”
After hacking into the APD’s computer system, Kenney deleted some files and installed malware that prompted pop-up messages to appear on the department’s computers. The messages prayed for the death of Kenney’s arresting officer.
He also took over email and social media accounts belonging to APD employees and defaced them with pornography.
The attacks against the APD were carried out from February to July 2015 using a keyboard stroke logger, computer viruses and phishing emails. Kenney’s lawyer said that the hacker was going through personal problems when the crimes took place.
On November 18, 2020, Kenney pleaded guilty to unauthorized access to a computer and causing damage to protected computers. He was sentenced on Tuesday in US District Court in Concord.
“You can’t hide in the shadows of the internet and hack into computers and impede others from accessing emergency substance abuse treatment services and get away with it,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.