The hacker who cracked the website of the home rental website Airbnb has been sentenced to up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine, a US district judge in Washington state ruled Tuesday.
Airbnb was fined $1.7 million in March, after a judge found that the company’s service to its users violated federal laws by allowing users to make unauthorized changes to its properties.
A lawyer for Airbnb in Washington said it is cooperating with the investigation into the breach and said the company is cooperating fully with the government.
The judge ordered Aaron Auernheimer to forfeit the Airbnb domain name and IP address.
Auernheim was also ordered to pay a $25,000 civil fine, court records show.
He also must forfeit $5,000 of his vacation income, $1,500 in property damage awards, $2,500 for the costs of a new security camera and $1 million in attorney fees.
In court filings, Auernherts lawyers said the website’s users had access to more than 1.8 million addresses, which they say allowed the hackers to upload malicious code and manipulate properties.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Rosenblatt said Auernhemis actions violated federal criminal law because the website was not properly protected by firewalls.
“As Airbnb’s owner and landlord, Auermhis had no obligation to keep the website secure,” Rosenblat wrote.
“Instead, he knowingly allowed users to alter the website, thus enabling them to alter and modify the site’s contents without Airbnb’s knowledge or consent.”
Auernheim pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence against a federal officer and one count each of aiding and abetting and using a computer to commit computer hacking.
The Associated Press