Matthew Weigman was born legally blind, and he developed superhuman hearing to compensate. If you don’t see how a sightless childhood could be turned into a life of sophisticated crime, you’re apparently not aware of phone hacking.
He was a teenage blind boy, angry and alone. Then he discovered that he possessed a strange and fearsome superpower – one that put him in the cross hairs of the FBI
2005: 14-year-old Matthew “Lil Hacker” Weigman is considered by the modern phreak community to be one of the best young phone hackers out there. But before you get cute, old-timey images in your head of whistling rogues hacking free phone calls to their sweethearts, you should know that modern phreaking is more about delusional sociopathy than inventively exploiting archaic technology.
Case in point: When Richard Gasper, the father of a phone phreak groupie — yes, there is such a thing, and no, that sadness you’re feeling inside won’t ever go away — denied Weigman’s 3 a.m. request to have phone sex with Gasper’s groupie daughter, Wiegman did precisely what you’d expect: He hung up.
And then sent in a SWAT team to exact his revenge.
First, Lil Hacker made sure the 911 call was caller ID spoofed, meaning that it showed up as actually originating from within the Gasper residence.
Aaand that’s the end of our high-tech hacking segment: It was just simple impersonation and persuasion that convinced the 911 operator that Weigman was an armed gunman holding the Gasper family hostage. You can hear the actual recording below, and you have to admit, it was a pretty damn convincing performance for a 15-year-old kid. Perhaps blindness has lent Weigman a heightened sense of behaving like a psychopath. At any rate, when Gasper stepped out into the police floodlights, explaining for the second time that he’d simply been pranked by a spurned and horny teenage boy, SWAT scoffed at him — “Ha! Can you believe he tried that old excuse?” — and slapped on the handcuffs.
Lil Hacker was eventually caught, but not by an elite squad of technological anti-heroes in a battle of code: He didn’t like having an investigator following him, so he showed up on said investigator’s doorstep with his big brother and threatened to beat him up.
It began, as it always did, with a phone call to 911. “Now listen here,” the caller demanded, his voice frantic. “I’ve got two people here held hostage, all right? Now, you know what happens to people that are held hostage? It’s not like on the movies or nothing, you understand that?”
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