Pay attention all you would-be extortion artists out there! It’s not as easy as you think to blackmail a company over the network. You should learn from the example of Myron Tereshchuk, who pled guilty last week in Maryland to charges of attempted extortion. Mr. T apparently harbored a grudge against MicroPatent, a competing patent company in Connecticut. He used unsecured Wi-fi networks to break into MicroPatent’s computer systems and to send messages demanding $17 million or he would disclose their trade secrets.
Though he went to some lengths to make himself untraceable technically, past altercations between Tereshchuk and the company made him the prime suspect from the start, according to court records. The clearest sign came when he issued the seventeen million dollar extortion demand, and instructed the company to “make the check payable to Myron Tereshchuk.”