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By Seth Hettena
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) A Connecticut computer hacker has been indicted on
federal charges for allegedly breaking into a Website for car
enthusiasts and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage,
authorities and company officials said Tuesday.

Stephen L. Suplita III was indicted by a federal grand jury in San
Diego on a charge of intentionally damaging computers at Enjoya. FBI
agents arrested him Monday at his home in Manchester, Conn.

The 21-year-old, who works at Alice Technologies in Holyoke, Mass.,
has been released on bond and is scheduled to appear before a federal
magistrate in San Diego next month.

Messages left Tuesday at Suplita's home were not returned.

Suplita hacked into Enjoya's Website between July and October of last
year and left a trail that investigators traced back to computers
linked to him, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Skerlos.

''He would be middle-of-the-road in terms of sophistication,'' Skerlos

Fallbrook-based Enjoya was at the time the fourth-largest site for
auto enthusiasts, but the attacks dealt a setback to that side of the
business, said Richard Hudgins, the company's chief executive officer.

''Now we're not pushing that end of the business that hard,'' Hudgins
said. ''The reason we're not pushing it hard is because of the

The attacks cost Enjoya four accounts worth $45,000 a month. The
company also spent about $35,000 to fix the damage left by the hacker,
who deleted key files and posted pornography in bulletin boards.

Prosecutors declined to discuss why Suplita targeted Enjoya. Hudgins
said the attacks might have something to do with a dispute over a
magazine for Mazda Miata enthusiasts.

The initial attack, which targeted a Miata discussion group on the
Enjoya site, occurred in the midst of a controversy over Miata
magazine's distribution rights and funding. At the time, Enjoya was
the Web host for the magazine, but the company lost the account and
three others due to the attacks, Hudgins said.

Suplita is himself a car buff. He operates German Performance Group, a
Website frequented by Connecticut-area Audi and Volkswagen
enthusiasts. On the site, he carefully details each modification to
his 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet, down to the carbon fiber steering

Enjoya traced the initial attack back to a Farmington, Conn.-based
company that sells pharmaceuticals over the Web. Company officials
told Hudgins they had fired the employee responsible, but declined to
provide his name.

In October 2000, a hacker broke into Enjoya's Website again in what
Hudgins called the more damaging of the two attacks.

Dialing in from a personal account, the hacker entered the site
through a security loophole and downloaded a database of 115,000 names
of site users, including about 45,000 credit card accounts, he said.
Enjoya had to notify every user who provided credit card numbers of
the attack.

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