Leonard Rose (hacker)

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Leonard Rose
Born 1959 (age 57–58)
Elkton, Maryland
Other names Terminus
Criminal penalty 12 month and 1 day prison sentence[1][2]
Conviction(s) Two counts of wire fraud, stemming from publishing an article in Phrack Magazine.[3]

Leonard Rose (born 1959 in Elkton, Maryland), aka Terminus, is an American hacker who in 1991 accepted a plea bargain that convicted him of two counts of wire fraud stemming from publishing an article in Phrack magazine.[3]

He wrote an article for Phrack explaining how trojan horses worked and excerpted 21 lines of the AT&T SVR3.2 "login.c" source code. This prompted both AT&T and the United States Secret Service to raid his home and seize a moving truck full of computers, books, electronics and paperwork from his home office in Middletown, MD.

The two counts of wire fraud stemmed from him sending two pieces of email (the actual article containing excerpts of login.c to the publishers of Phrack on two separate occasions, as Craig Neidorf (aka Knight Lightning; then the co-publisher of Phrack) had accidentally deleted the original mail.

Other counts in the original indictment were from writing a brute force password decryption program using a dictionary attack, which the US Federal Government considered "burglary tools", and tried to approach much like a burglar carrying something to break into a physical residence during the commission of a crime.

During this period, Rose was also accused of being the "mastermind" of the Legion of Doom. Many newspaper articles referred to him as being somehow involved with the LoD,[citation needed] which was never the case.[citation needed]

John Gilmore, Mitch Kapor, John Perry Barlow and many others came to Rose's aid and helped pay for his defense. Mike Godwin was instrumental in coordinating his defense efforts until the capitulation and plea bargain.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded on the cases of Terminus, Knight Lightning, Taran King, Steve Jackson Games and everyone else scooped up in Operation Sundevil, which was covered in Bruce Sterling's non-fiction book The Hacker Crackdown.

A copy of the indictment is located here.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henry Weinstein (23 Mar 1991). "Hacker Enters Guilty Plea in Theft of Computer Data". Business; PART-D; Financial Desk: Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Rodney Hoffman (31 Mar 1991). "Correction Re: Terminus". RISKS Digest. Retrieved 9 May 2009. Under the plea agreements, ... Rose ... will serve a year in prison. 
  3. ^ a b Bruce Sterling (1993). The Hacker Crackdown — Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier (January 1994 ed.). Project Gutenberg. p. 336. ISBN 0-553-56370-X. 
  4. ^ Eduardo Krell (May 30, 1990). "Subject: "Legion of Doom" Indictment". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 

External links[edit]