Phoenix man sentenced to jail after committing Madison cyberattack

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jun 20, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona man has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for his hacking conviction in a cyberattack three years ago that interrupted communications equipment for emergency workers in Madison, Wisconsin.

Randall Charles Tucker of Apache Junction also was ordered at his sentencing Monday to pay $69,000 in restitution.

The 23-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging protected computers in the March 2015 attack in Madison.

He had been charged with hacking into municipal computer systems three years ago in two Phoenix suburbs, Chandler and Mesa, and attacking the Washington, D.C.-based News2Share site in December 2014. The charges stemming from the attacks in Arizona and on the news site were dropped as part of the plea deal.

The Madison attack temporarily disabled access to the city's website and caused internet-connected communication equipment used by emergency workers to become inaccessible or degraded, authorities said. The automatic dispatching system for emergency workers was crippled, and other emergency workers experienced problems in connecting to a 911 center.

Tucker later bragged about the attack on social media under his nickname "Bitcoin Baron."

The attack came three days after a white Madison police officer fatally shot Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old biracial man, during an altercation in an apartment building stairwell.

The shooting put the police department under intense scrutiny and sparked days of protests. The officer was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Less than a week after the Madison hack, authorities say Tucker launched an attack on city websites in Mesa and Chandler that temporarily made them inaccessible to users.

He also was accused of attacking the Washington, D.C.-based News2Share site in late 2014 after it failed to run a video he had provided. The video's contents weren't publicly revealed.