harvard_universityNew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof shares the FBI affidavit outlining how the Feds caught a Harvard student accused of sending a bomb threat to get out of sitting for his exams.

Here is an excerpt:

Harvard received the e-mail messages from a service called Guerrilla Mail, an Internet application that creates temporary and anonymous e-mail addresses available free of charge. Further investigation yielded information that the person who sent the e-mail messages accessed Guerrilla Mail by using a product called TOR, which is also available free of charge on the Internet and which automatically assigns an anonymous Internet Protocol (“IP”) address that can be used for a limited period of time. Every computer attached to the Internet uses an IP address, which is a unique numerical identifier, to identify itself to other computers on the Internet and direct the orderly flow of electronic information between them. IP addresses typically consist of four numbers between 0 and 255 separated by periods (e.g., 216.239.51.99). Both TOR and Guerilla Mail are commonly used by Internet users seeking to communicate anonymously and in a manner that makes it difficult to trace the IP address of the computer being used.

Harvard University was able to determine that, in the several hours leading up to the receipt of the e-mail messages described above, ELDO KIM accessed TOR using Harvard’s wireless network.

Elementary, my dear Watson?

[Image courtesy: Harvard University]