Computers: The Great Satellite Caper

Hackers' arrests point up the growing problem of system security

It started innocuously enough: a credit card customer in Connecticut opened his monthly statement and noticed a charge for a piece of electronic equipment that he had never purchased. By last week that apparent billing error had blossomed into a full-fledged hacker scandal and led to the arrest of seven New Jersey teenagers who were charged with conspiracy and using their home computers and telephone hookups to commit computer theft.

According to police, who confiscated $30,000 worth of computer equipment and hundreds of floppy disks, the youths had exchanged stolen credit card numbers, bypassed long-distance telephone fees, traded supposedly secret phone...

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