In the United States, a woman pleaded guilty to trying to find a hit man who was supposed to kill her ex-husband through an internet joke page. As reported by The Monroe News from the city of the same name in the US state of Michigan, the now 52-year-old filled out a form on RentAHitman.com in spring 2020. In the “form for service requests” there are lots of fields for data about the applicant: in and target person. Although the woman gave a wrong name, she left other personal information. The site operator gave the data to the police, who were able to convict the woman. She is now guilty of incitement to murder and the use of a computer for criminal activity.
The internet is full of hot IT news and stale pr0n. In between there are always pearls that are too good for / dev / null.
An unplanned honeypot
Although recognizable as a joke, has RentAHitman.com thus once again served as a honeypot to attract someone who wants to incite murder. The domain was registered in early 2005 by an American who studied network security and was considering starting a penetration test company, said that of the Washington Post. The “Hitman” in the name was about attacks on IT systems, not a contract killer. The man named Bob Innes almost forgot about the site and years later he found tons of email inquiries. But he didn’t take them seriously. In 2010, the first one that was meant seriously came in 2010, the request of a British woman in Canada who wanted to have three relatives killed. After he explicitly asked again, he reported her to the police. She was arrested and deported.
Innes set up the page in its current form in 2014, including the form. There have been repeated cases of serious attempts to have someone killed. Currently there are eight to ten inquiries a month to the fictitious operator “Guido Fanelli”, including mostly jokes himself. But if he can verify the information, he makes two questions – including the woman from Michigan: “Do you still need our services” and “Do you want me to put you in touch with one of our sales representatives?” If the answer is yes, he will contact law enforcement officers. The Michigan woman then met with the “sales representative,” a camouflaged police officer. She gave him information about her ex-husband and $ 200, and she promised another 5,000. She was later arrested.
“People are just stupid”
With this recent case, Innes tells the Washington Post, “This is a crazy world.” The Internet is obviously a dangerous place, “and this website is a magnet for the low-hanging fruits that are out there and that want to harm people.” Although he has given a lot of interviews on the site, there are always serious attempts to hire a hit man through it. “I don’t get it” but “people are just stupid”. The 52-year-old from Michigan threatened now a maximum of life imprisonment or 20 years for the two admitted crimes. A judgment should be given in mid-January.