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Hacking Suspect Who Targeted Treatment Center, Government Sites Pleads Guilty

Santeri Viinamäki/Creative Commons

A Hookset man has pleaded guilty to federal hacking charges after breaking into the computer systems of multiple government agencies and a drug treatment facility.

Wayne Kenney Jr., 31, was arrested in 2015 on a drug possession charge by the Auburn police. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, he was ordered to attend substance misuse treatment at the Farnum Center in Manchester.

Prosecutors say as retribution, Kenney then hacked into the Auburn Police and Town of Auburn websites, where he deleted files and deployed malware that made pop-up threats against the officer who arrested him.

Kenney then went after the Farnum Center’s website in the summer of 2015, disabling a link for treatment information. He also altered the 24-hour hotline number so that callers reached an adult entertainment phone line rather than a substance misuse counselor.

“By pleading guilty today, he has finally accepted responsibility for his vindictive crimes,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, head of the FBI’s Boston division, said in a statement. “But no matter how clever hackers like him think they are, they should know the FBI will stop at nothing to impose risks and consequences on the perpetrators behind these criminal acts.”

Kenney will be sentenced next March.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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