Vigilante trojan hacker sends judge to jail

The hacker used an online version of a trojan horse to smuggle malicious code onto the paedophiles' computers

A vigilante hacker has helped convict a former Californian judge on child pornography charges. Ronald C Kline, 66, was sentenced to 27 months in prison after being found with sexually explicit images of young boys on his home computer.

It all started when Canadian computer hacker Brad Willman planted Trojan-infected images on websites which he believed were popular with paedophiles looking for illegal images. When these files were opened on target PCs, Willman was able hack in and monitor the users' activities.

Willman was keeping tabs on over 3,000 suspected paedophiles when he discovered illegal pornographic images of children on Kline's computer. He alerted the authorities after he also found diary entries describing the judge's overwhelming desire to molest small boys.

Police accepted the evidence and moved in to confiscate Kline's home and work computers. Years of court cases followed, with Kline's lawyers arguing that the evidence obtained through Willman's illegal computer hacking was inadmissible.

State and Federal cases were both dismissed on these grounds, but after several appeals Kline finally got his comeuppance with a jail term of over two years.

When Kline heard that he was being sentenced to jail time, he immediately fainted on the floor. Quite surprising really considering that he pleaded guilty to all charges.

James Rivington

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