Oswego Family Targeted by Online Hacker Speaks Out
Oct 19, 2015 07:24PM ● Published by Steven Jack
ScreenCap from Fushion.net
The family of Paul and Amy Strater, which has been the frequent target of a malicious online hacker over the past few years, is now the subject of a lengthy profile on Fushion.net — a news and pop culture website.
The profile tells the story of the numerous attacks on the Oswego family and how those attacks have essentially led to the destruction of their marriage, distrust of neighbors and made it impossible for Amy Strater to find and maintain work.
According to the profile, the trouble began for the Straters in 2012 after the couple's son, Blair, who is known as a "white hat" computer hacker, ran afoul of a Finnish hacker named Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki. Kivimaki was convicted in Finland in July on 50,000 counts of computer hacking and ordered to pay a $7,000 fine.
Over the course of the last three years, the family has been the victim of everything from hacks to their social media accounts, unordered deliveries made to the home and Oswego Police showing up at their door in the middle of the night believing the son had killed his mother. The latter attack is an increasingly common prank that's come to be known as "swatting."
The most recent attack came in May when Amy Strater's email account was hacked and generated email messages to a Southbury subdivision email list with the subject line “I will shoot up your school.” The threat led to two days of increased security at schools around School District 308.
"(Kivimaki) got it into his craw that he was going to mess with us as much as possible,” Paul Strater told Fushion.
For his part, Kivimaki, who is also interviewed for the story, denies many of the allegations made by the Straters, saying they "perpetuate Blair’s lies." Kivimaki said he also feels little sympathy for the Strater's troubles.
In addition to the couple now being separated and "ostracized" by their neighbors, Amy Strater said a hack of her Linkedin profile on the same day as the Southbury email, led to her losing her job as a hospital administrator, and made it impossible for her to find work. Simple Google searches of her name immediately returns results related to damage done by the hacker.
“I feel helpless,” Strater says in the profile. “I can’t get a job, my marriage is over. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder if it would be easier if I take my own life.”
According to the Straters, the attacks let up since Kivimaki was convicted this summer — a fact that was confirmed by Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner. Burgner confirmed in July the FBI was investigating the school threat from May, and Oswego detectives had been aiding in that investigation.
No charges ever have been filed against Kivimaki in the United States and whether he will face extradition from Finland for crimes in the U.S. remains to be seen. Kivimaki is reportedly part of global hacking network Lizard Squad that claimed responsibility for Christmas Day attacks on both Playstation and Xbox online gaming systems.
TO READ THE FULL FUSHION.NET PROFILE, CLICK HERE.