Utah man accused of high-tech hunting hack

WYOMING – A Utah man has been charged in Laramie County District Court with defrauding Wyoming Game and Fish Department in order to obtain two moose hunting licenses.

Byron Oldham allegedly used a computer program to hack the WGFD online application system to apply for two limited quota nonresident moose tags. According to officials at WGFD, Oldham wrote a piece of computer code that tricked the software into leaving the application button open beyond a programmed 20-minute window. That allowed Oldham to apply for and receive two coveted moose tags.

A software developer for WGFD caught the hack and reported it to his superiors. Oldham was charged with intellectual property crime of modifying data in a computer network.

It was the second time in recent years that a sportsman who makes a living in the hunting industry has been accused of ‘gaming’ the system. Reality TV hunting host Billy Busbice Jr. was convicted of poaching last summer in Lincoln County Circuit Court. Oldham runs two hunting businesses—GotMyTag.com and HuntinTool.com.

Game and Fish contends it was not the first time Oldham has attempted to hack its system. After investigating, officials say Oldham tried to apply for a bighorn sheep tag 99 times during one minute online on May 10, 2016.

Because of the points system WGFD uses for out-of-state limited entry big game hunts, preference is given to applicants who have applied previously but were unsuccessful in getting a license. WGFD contends Oldham had accumulated points for antelope (5), bighorn sheep (10), elk (11), and moose (11).

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