Is 30 Months in Prison Too Harsh For Hacking A Website?

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Mitchell Frost’s cyber pranks have cost him. The 23-year-old University of Akron student plead guilty Wednesday to hacking Bill O’ Rielly’s website. That stunt alone cost him $40,000, 30 months of his life in jail, and three years of supervised release, according to MSNBC.

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Frost worked as a hacker between August 2006 and March 2007 while a student at the Ohio university. He attached O’Reilly’s site five times using a botnet hosted on the school’s network. He also admitted that he hacked into Ann Coulter’s and one of Rudy Giuliani’s campaign websites as well, for which he has to pay $10,000 back to his university.

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His case echoes David Kernell’s, the college student who is accused of hacking Sarah Palin’s email. Although Kernell has yet to be sentenced, the local Knoxville News Sentinel estimates he will receive 15 to 21 months in jail.

Does the punishment befit the crime? While hacking is a serious offense, are these cyber crimes worth of this much jail time and money?