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biggest military computer hack of all time


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Political User
Just read this..:eek: crazy stuff...

British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who committed 'the biggest military computer hack of all time',...

During his two-year quest, McKinnon broke into computers at the
NASA and the Johnson Space Center as well as systems used by the U.S. army, navy and air force.

U.S. officials say he caused $700,000 worth of damage and even crippled vital defense systems shortly after the September 11 attacks.

The unemployed computer programmer is now battling extradition to the United States, where, if found guilty, he faces up to 70 years in jail and fines of up to $1.75 million. His lawyer fears he could even be sent to Guantanamo Bay.
link to story


- geek -
I remember hearing about this guy back when he first got in trouble. I also like how they determine a number to put on damges. :)
"He argues he is being made a scapegoat by U.S. authorities to deter other would-be hackers rather than address their own security flaws."
Punishing someone for crimes they committed does not make them a scapegoat. If he had been part of a big ring and they didn't bother looking for anyone else after they caught him, then he would be a scapegoat.

And then there's this: just because someone leaves their house unlocked doesn't mean you can point the finger at them after you waltzed in and took all their stuff. Not properly assigning secrecy levels to sensitive information is wrong, but it's but it's legal. What he did was both wrong and illegal. He should think about it that way.


- geek -
Isn't this the guy that while looking for UFO info noticed a good number of other folks also poking around? :nervous:


Part of a System
Update to this story

Court backs 'Pentagon hacker' extradition to U.S.

LONDON, England (AP) -- A British court recommended Wednesday that a man be extradited to the U.S. where he is wanted for allegedly committing the largest-ever attack on the United States government computer networks -- including Army, Air Force, Navy and NASA systems.
Gary McKinnon, 40, of London, has been indicted in New Jersey and northern Virginia on charges of illegally accessing 97 computers, causing $700,000 in damage.
Judge Nicholas Evans said he was satisfied McKinnon should be sent for trial in the U.S. Home Secretary John Reid will make the final decision on extradition.
If Reid approves extradition, McKinnon will appeal to the High Court, his lawyer Karen Todner said.
"My intention was never to disrupt security, the fact that I logged on and there were no passwords means that there was no security," McKinnon said, outside the hearing at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court. "I was looking for UFOs."
McKinnon, who was arrested in 2002, has fought his extradition by claiming he could face prosecution under U.S. anti-terror laws.
The suspect is accused of hacking into U.S. government computers including a system at the Pentagon between February 2001 and March 2002.
Court records in Virginia said McKinnon caused $900,000 in damage to computers, including those of private companies, in 14 states.
In New Jersey, McKinnon was accused of hacking into a network of 300 computers at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and stealing 950 passwords.
The break-in -- which occurred immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks -- shut down the whole system for a week, Evans said. The station is responsible for replenishing the Atlantic fleet's munitions and supplies.
Edward Lawson, another attorney for McKinnon, told an earlier hearing the suspect feared prosecution by a U.S. military commission, under powers introduced after the September 11 attacks.
Lawson said an "unsigned and anonymous" diplomatic note from the U.S. Embassy in London that said McKinnon would not be subject to Military Order No. 1, offered no reassurance he would be dealt with in federal courts.
Military Order No. 1 allows U.S. President George W. Bush to detain terror suspects without trial or put them before military courts.
Judge Evans said there was no "real, as opposed to fanciful, risk" of McKinnon being prosecuted under anti-terror laws, asking the suspect to accept an assurance provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Evans told McKinnon that in choosing to target the U.S. he had "run the risk of being prosecuted in that country."
Officials in New Jersey and Virginia must now decide where McKinnon should stand trial, Evans said.
If convicted of the charges in New Jersey, McKinnon faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said at the time the indictment was disclosed.
Though McKinnon was able to view sensitive details about naval munitions and shipbuilding on the secure U.S. systems, he did not access classified information, an investigation found.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Mixed feelings about this - he should face "justice" wherever he hacked.... so yes extradite... but heard from interview he hardly "hacked" that the systems were so open to intrusion he was just showing them gaping security holes...

Key question - what did he do with his hack? Was there a security breach? If not I would suggest leniency as appropriate...

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