WiFi hacker who terrorized neighbors sentenced to 18 years in jail

Do you think you don't need a password or other security measures for your home WiFi network? You will definitely think again after hearing the tale of Barry Ardolf. The 46 year old Brooklyn Park, Minnesota resident was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 years in jail after he hacked into his neighbor's WiFi network and then used the network to try to frame them for various criminal acts.

The Wired web site reports that Ardolf got upset with Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, his next door neighbors. In 2009 the couple called the police and accused him of kissing their four year old son on the lips. Ardolf pretty much went nuts after that accusation and decided to hack into the Kostolnik's home WiFi network. He then used the connection and created a fake MySpace page for Matt Kostolnik which contained images of child pornography. Ardolf also sent "flirtatious e-mail to women in Mr. Kostolnik's office" via the Kostolniks' WiFi connection and even sent threatening email to Vice President Joe Biden. That email got the attention of the Secret Service and other law enforcement officials

Matt Kostolnik's law firm decided to look into the matter after Kostolnik pleaded his innocence and set up a "packet sniffer" to find out where the hacking was coming from. The firm found digital evidence of Ardolf's involvement. The FBI then got a search warrant of Ardolf's house and found tons of physical evidence including hacking manuals, hand written notes, and the child pornography image that Ardolf uploaded to the fake MySpace page.

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32 Comments

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If US is anything like UK, if he behaves himself in prison he'll be out by next month, it's pretty much like that for murder too

I wonder if his lawyer properly explained to him that if he declines the 2 years, he might risk up to this amount of time. What a gamble...

Off topic: I have a neighbor who has his WiFi open. Every time I see it open, I rename the wireless network to something vulgar, racist, sexist, you name it. I also disconnect the Internet connection.

He never gets the hint. Somebody always resets it without putting a password. But at least I have my fun.

a violent criminal gets an appropriate sentence per incident as well.

You cannot compare a sentence for a single criminal act to that of a criminal who compiled multiple charges over a period of time and claim it unjust.

Had this guy performed a single act, he would have probably gotten 6 months. It would appear correct in comparison to a single violent act sentence of 8 years. However, this guy decided to go on a spree and pile up charge after charge.

So let me get this straight, piling up charges because they can is just fine with you. 18 years for a non violent offense from a guy with obvious mental issues. People like you are what's wrong with this country, and are usually guilty of far worse themselves. The Prison industry loves small minded simpletons like yourself.

Hahaiah said,
So let me get this straight, piling up charges because they can is just fine with you. 18 years for a non violent offense from a guy with obvious mental issues. People like you are what's wrong with this country, and are usually guilty of far worse themselves. The Prison industry loves small minded simpletons like yourself.

Just tattoo "I <3 Criminals" on your back and get it over with.

Hahaiah said,
So let me get this straight, piling up charges because they can is just fine with you. 18 years for a non violent offense from a guy with obvious mental issues. People like you are what's wrong with this country, and are usually guilty of far worse themselves. The Prison industry loves small minded simpletons like yourself.

Calling someone simple minded and yet you didn't even read the full article. The dude turned down a 2 year plea deal, and only then did they pile on all the charges. There's a lot wrong with our court system, but not this. His own fault for the crime, and his own fault for the ridiculous sentence.

Hahaiah said,
So let me get this straight, piling up charges because they can is just fine with you. 18 years for a non violent offense from a guy with obvious mental issues. People like you are what's wrong with this country, and are usually guilty of far worse themselves. The Prison industry loves small minded simpletons like yourself.

What's wrong is people actually begin to believe that the real guilty party, the one who somehow caused it all, is the victim, rather than the perpetrator of the crime.

srprimeaux said,

What's wrong is people actually begin to believe that the real guilty party, the one who somehow caused it all, is the victim, rather than the perpetrator of the crime.


A worrying trend.

18 years is not extreme.

We are not made aware of the number of charges filed against him. He may have 18 counts of this, 18 counts of that, and a few child porn counts to boot....each may be 6 month sentences, which is fair per charge. Add them all up and you get 18 years.

By what stretch of the imagination is joining an unsecured network hacking? And if it was secured, how are the first two statements of the article relevant? Additionally, you don't need to put quotes around actual terms.

We get the point, you find it difficult to make a comment unless it follows that template. How about just not trying at all?

He took it to the extreme..there are ways to screw with people that leech off your connection in return which is why I open my wifi from time to time

18 years does seem a little extreme but then again threatening the vice president is not a good idea and the child porn thing is not helping his case either.

either way, 18 years is a little extreme as ultimately not much harm was done.

Glad to hear the victim didn't lose his job, in some cases that would have happened, even after being proven innocent (some things are unfair like that - and not right)

Sounds like he has a screw loose, who looks at child porn just to get at somebody.

18 years is crazy though, you can get less for murder or manslaughter

Uplift said,
Sounds like he has a screw loose, who looks at child porn just to get at somebody.

18 years is crazy though, you can get less for murder or manslaughter

He would have gotten less time if he had just killed the other guy... people make things so much more difficult than they need to be! LOL

Uplift said,
Sounds like he has a screw loose, who looks at child porn just to get at somebody.
18 years is crazy though, you can get less for murder or manslaughter

They offered him two years, which he refused. Then pleaded guilty.

From wired article:
Ardolf had no criminal record, but an investigation revealed that he'd also hijacked the Wi-Fi of other neighbors, and terrorized them as well.

A father of two, Ardolf had turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. He pleaded guilty to them all last year.

Uplift said,
Sounds like he has a screw loose, who looks at child porn just to get at somebody.

18 years is crazy though, you can get less for murder or manslaughter

anyone with child porn images is messed up.. murder can be many different things, people could get into a fist fight and one trips and hits his head and dies that can be murder but it was a total accident.. Were as child porn is a picking on the most innocent people in the world

Lachlan said,

anyone with child porn images is messed up.. murder can be many different things, people could get into a fist fight and one trips and hits his head and dies that can be murder but it was a total accident.. Were as child porn is a picking on the most innocent people in the world


Sheep.
Sheeps like you are ruining our future and our children.

RealFduch said,

Sheep.
Sheeps like you are ruining our future and our children.

so...you're saying people should collect child porn or otherwise they are sheep?

Uplift said,

18 years is crazy though, you can get less for murder or manslaughter

This is a fine sentence. You should get MORE for Murder.

Lachlan said,

anyone with child porn images is messed up.. murder can be many different things, people could get into a fist fight and one trips and hits his head and dies that can be murder but it was a total accident.. Were as child porn is a picking on the most innocent people in the world

WHAT?? Are you saying having child porn is worse than murdering someone???? wtf is wrong with you? PRODUCING child porn is equal to murder imo, downloading it.. no, it's not even close.