March 6, 1986: First Computer Sting Operation

Hacker Troll
Hacker Troll

EDITOR NOTE: I received documentation that shows this event actually happened on March 5th. This will be corrected on and changed for next year.

1986 –  Fremont, California police set up a BBS called “Phoenix Fortress” in order to do one thing – catch cyber criminals. Sgt. Dan Pasquale was the online contact with the handle “Revenger”. He continued to stay in contact with hundreds of of hackers and pirates in seven states through the BBS until they collected enough information to make an arrest.

Stolen credit card numbers, long distance codes, selling weapons, hacking information and more were divulged through this BBS. A lot of the arrests were misdemeanors and many arrests were made against teens – ranging from 15 to 19 years old.

Those who were convicted lost their computer equipment. The original warrants were issued on Feb 26th, so some arrests may have been made in the first few days of March.

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