White-Collar Crime

Angry at Attorney, Neighbor Hacked His Encrypted Wi-Fi & Sent Child Porn to His Law Firm Colleagues

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Angry at a Minnesota attorney, a neighbor hacked his encrypted Wi-Fi account and e-mailed pornography labeled as family photos to his colleagues at a Minneapolis law firm, seeking to make trouble for him, authorities say.

Barry Vincent Ardolf, 45, also sent threatening e-mails purportedly from the attorney to the Minnesota governor and Vice President Joe Biden, reports IDG News Service, and set up a fake MySpace page in the lawyer’s name.

Although the news service doesn’t identify the lawyer, he is Matthew Kostolnik, a civil litigator with Moss & Barnett, according to the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper says Ardolf also sent a mash note, purportedly from Kostolnik, to his legal assistant and posed as a fictitious woman with a sexual harassment complaint against the attorney in a communication to the head of the firm’s environmental law department.

Ardolf pleaded guilty last week, in the midst of a federal district court trial, to hacking, identity theft and possession of child pornography charges, as well as making threats to Biden.

He was identified as the culprit after the law firm retained a security consultant to investigate, who put a capture device on the lawyer’s network and found evidence that Ardolf had logged in, the IDG article says.

Child porn was also posted on the fake MySpace page Ardolf created in the attorney’s name, the article reports, along with an arrogant message: “I bet my co-worker that since I’m a lawyer and a darn great one that I could get away with putting up porn on my site here. I bet that all I have to do is say there is plausible deniability since anybody could have put this up on my site.”

“It was terrible, and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through it,” Kostolnik tells the Pioneer Press.

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