Industry News

Wi-Fi Drive-By and Burglary Net Thieves $3 Million, and Prison Time

Combining old fashion burglary with powerful Wi-Fi receivers enabled three Seattle men to raise $3 million in identity theft and payroll theft. By attaching a powerful Wi-Fi receiver to a vehicle and driving around businesses’ headquarters, Joshuah Allen Witt, John Earl Griffin, and Brad Eugene Lowe managed to profit from accessing more than 50 wireless networks from Seattle businesses.

Where technology failed, burglary prevailed as attackers usually gained access to buildings by forcing locks and breaking windows. On entry, they manually installed keyloggers or other malware on computers to collect passwords and steal sensitive information.

Joshuah Allen Witt received a 95-month conviction, while Brad Eugene Lowe is due 78 months in prison for conspiring to the felony.

I commend the businesses who quickly alerted law enforcement about the intrusions on their computer systems,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, who leads the Justice Department’s Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement working group. “Without their help, law enforcement could not have put this ring out of business.

Judge Richard A. Jones who convicted Witt of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and access-device fraud, told him that the crimes committed will impact individuals for years to come. “For some of these individuals, it will be years, if not a lifetime, to recover from the conduct you engaged in,” said Jones.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan also said hefty sentences such as these send a strong message to all those that engage in such activities. These criminal acts lead to a prison time and aggressors should think twice if they think they’ll get away with it.

About the author


Liviu Arsene is the proud owner of the secret to the fountain of never-ending energy. That's what's been helping him work his everything off as a passionate tech news editor for the past couple of years. He is the youngest and most restless member of the Bitdefender writer team and he covers mobile malware and security topics with fervor and a twist. His passions revolve around gadgets and technology, and he's always ready to write about what's hot and trendy out there in geek universe.