The man who edited Wikipedia with several telephone numbers and addresses of senators pleaded guilty to computer fraud and other crimes. Jackson Cosko, a former employee of Sen. Maggie Hassan, was arrested last year on suspicion of involving five members of Congress. Now he has admitted that he entered Hassan's office after being fired, stole data that included personal contact information and then posted that information online during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Cosko worked as a computer systems administrator for Hassan, but was fired in May 2018. Under a plea agreement, he retaliated using a key from another employee (who was later fired) to break into his old workplace at minus four times, installing keyloggers on computers and using stolen log-in credentials to download gigabytes
while watching the hearing of Supreme Court confirmation in September, Cosko "got angry" with the Republican senators who interrogated Kavanaugh, so he posted contact information for Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch on Wikipedia. Cosko was doing an internship for US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee at the time, and her changes were marked by a bot that detects Wikipedia's editions on the computers of Congress. The robot inadvertently helped spread the information of the senators through Twitter, a process that prosecutors say Cosko helped tweet about their leaks.
Cosko attacked again a few days later, posting information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul. I had requested an investigation – on Wikipedia. He added comments calling himself a "golden god" who had the legal right to publish the information, and asked readers to "send us bitcoins."
When a witness saw him in Hassan's office the next day, Cosko responded with a threatening email. entitled "I am EVERYTHING". Cosko said he would publish private emails, encrypted messages and health data and social security numbers for senators' children. "If you tell someone that I will filter everything," he wrote. Cosko was arrested shortly after.
Now, Cosko has admitted charges of computer fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and public disclosure of restricted personal information. District of Columbia attorneys say he could serve between 30 and 57 months in prison, and as part of his plea agreement, he must deliver computers, cell phones and "other equipment used in the crimes." The sentence will be carried out. in June.
Senator Hassan tells The Verge that "I thank the Capitol Police for everything they do every day to keep us safe, and I thank the Capitol Police and the Office of the Prosecutor of the United States for its work "to bring this person to justice."
Update at 6:00 PM ET: Details of Hassan's office were added indicating that an employee whose key Cosko used was fired .