Thursday, 31 Jul, 2008 Offbeat
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Hacker Broke Into Pentagon System Searching for Aliens

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The court refused a British hacker in his appeal against being extradited to the United States where he is accused of breaking into the computer systems of Pentagon, US army, navy and NASA. Gary McKinnon could face up to 70 years in jail. After he was arrested in 2002 it was revealed that the damage he caused equals $700,000.

Mr McKinnon claimed that he was just curious about the existence of aliens. In 2006 he said that he was just a computer nerd, who became obsessed with the process of searching through military networks for proof of extra-terrestrial existence.

The highest court of Great Britain, the House of Lords, ruled that the man should face a maximum charge under English law - life sentence. It refused the man's appeal against extradition.

The lawyers of Mr McKinnon outlined that it would be a violation of his human rights in case the man is sent to the United States. They added that Mr McKinnon's extradition was in fact sought "for the purpose of prosecuting him on account of his nationality or political opinions".

In May 2006 a district court ruled that Mr McKinnon should be extradited. In April 2007 the decision was supported at London's High Court. The same year three top judges of Britain allowed Mr McKinnon to take his case to the House of Lords. In case the man is found guilty in the United States, he could face up to 70 years in jail and a penalty fine of up to $1.75 million.

It is worth mentioning that in the period between February 2001 and March 2002 Mr McKinnon used his home computer in London to illegally penetrate into 97 systems of the US Government. He is now accused of shutting down for 24 hours the whole US Army's Military District of Washington network, which consists of more than 2,000 computers.

Under the nickname "Solo", McKinnon, who used a limited 56K dial-up modem, discovered that lots of US security systems were running on insecure Microsoft Windows program, having no password protection. Afterwards he scanned military networks using the software he purchased off-the-shelf. The man said that he found evidence from senior figures reporting about the existence of technology received from aliens.

Paul McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, stated: "Mr McKinnon is charged with the biggest military computer hack of all time".

Source: News.com.au from correspondets in London

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//22 Dec 13, 2010 05:02 AM | posted by: albert uk
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//21 Oct 16, 2010 09:01 PM | posted by: Open-mind!!!
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44 votes

//20 Oct 05, 2010 10:34 PM | posted by: _e_f3oP
They can put you in jail for anything. they are doing the same thing to me apparently they trap you every way. its bullshit my name is jeff schinzing from rochester new york and im innocent someone please help me. all i did was try to learn about other species of animals and then i watched YOUTUBE and apparently im getting introuble for it. So they can pretty much do what they want. Police will go against you for your beliefs. please contact me on facebook or ANYTHING i am an INNOCENT MAN WITH GOOD MORAL X10000000
49 votes

//19 Mar 30, 2010 08:58 PM | posted by: Boomer [InfoTOT]
And as a PS I will add this interview with Gary McKinnon:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2005/jul/09/weekend7.weekend2
61 votes

//18 Mar 30, 2010 08:55 PM | posted by: Boomer
What the article didn't touch on is that the man is autistic. While autism doesn't necessarily mean that he should be held less accountable for his crimes (I am against the life sentence myself, maybe 60 days is more appropriate), it is a slap in the face for the US government - I can see some US mucky mucky stating: "We can't let this get out, a British kid with a mental disorder hacked the hell out of us!". The onus should be placed on corporation, and in that I include government agencies as well, to secure their networks against these types of attacks. While one could argue that if someone is caught stealing a chocolate bar because it was not secured should be charged, the digital age is far too young and far too insecure to rely solely on protection offered today. Were this one of my own networks, I would have taken the opportunity to secure my servers against future attacks. What is the point in trying to prosecute an autistic person because your IT team is to inept to keep you secure? I've been an IT for 20 years, specializing in security, have had government contracts, and no matter what hack has been thrown at the networks I am responsible for, I have never even thought of the notion of pressing charges against someone invading, simply because my belief is that it is a pointless endeavor prosecuting someone who is inadvertently aiding you by showing you your flaws.

As a PS: this hack had nothing to do with Windows XP SP1, despite what the riff raff would like us to believe. The Pentagon and other agencies in the government still use a simple service called Telnet, they use this on everything ranging from Windows NT4 to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Telnet is extremely insecure and can be sniffed on any public network. The US tries to play hide and seek with it's Telnet services, usually only publishing the phone number/IP address of the service internally, also, most of the time, trying to maintain security by obscurity by limiting the service to be accessible by dial in only instead of via the network. Couple this with the lack of proper Administration passwords (imagine having to track the passwords on over 2000 individual systems within a network - as an Admin you have two choices, secure all of them with a similar password or use a crypt key for access, or leave the password blank. Unfortunately, more often than not, the government would rather save money than hand out key fobs, so they generally choose to commit to security by obscurity and minimize the need for passwords. Of course, this obviously doesn't work, and a complete review of all government systems, should be re-evaluated. Additionally, I wonder why the same amount of importance isn't being placed on this item (http://www.scmagazineus.com/blueprints-of-obamas-marine-one-helicopter-leaked-on-p2p/article/128109/). Why? Because it was a government workers stupidity that caused this to happen. Do you not think, that providing insecure/non-existent passwords on a service which is known to be riddled with security holes, should not be qualified as a government workers stupidity? I sure do.
43 votes

//17 Feb 18, 2010 11:36 PM | posted by: cyberbob12 [InfoTOT]
Why would this man be put in jail for hacking for aliens? Shouldn't they consider that perhaps he is just mentally insane for believing in aliens? If the government finds him dangerous because of the information he discovered then maybe it is true aliens do exist.
49 votes

//16 Feb 18, 2010 11:32 PM | posted by: Cyberbob12
Why would this man be put in jail for hacking for aliens? Shouldn't they consider that perhaps he is just mentally insane for believing in aliens? If the government finds him dangerous because of the information he discovered then maybe it is true aliens do exist.
41 votes

//15 Dec 17, 2009 01:03 PM | posted by: mimi
let him go!
45 votes

//14 Jul 27, 2009 06:01 PM | posted by: alien19_90--89
I'm hack pentagon on windows 95 without i-net
47 votes

//13 Jul 25, 2009 07:49 AM | posted by: tengkorak
hahaha.....................
43 votes

//12 Jan 28, 2009 07:11 AM | posted by: Sa
You are mean. Do you like suck
42 votes

//11 Sep 11, 2008 04:11 AM | posted by: Unknown
Where is he held now? Anyone knows?
56 votes

//10 Aug 05, 2008 02:33 PM | posted by: Unknown
This is unfair, someone with his abilities to access so called "secure" US military servers containing such highly secret documents should not be arrested for "looking" for ET. But awarded with a job making the information secure. Thus making both sides happy.

Peace
42 votes

//9 Aug 03, 2008 11:10 PM | posted by: Harrison
Please free the man, maybe probation.
49 votes

//8 Aug 03, 2008 10:57 PM | posted by: mike
this is nonsense, the chinese hack the pentagon all day long, and a guy on a 56k modem finds these window problems. THe govt. fucked up for not being prepared,, thats the usual problem...
56 votes

//7 Aug 03, 2008 11:07 AM | posted by: SuhaRik
Hacker...Stupid Aliens :)
48 votes

//6 Aug 03, 2008 04:49 AM | posted by: Rhenjamin
This is just plain sad. Punishments are supposed to fit the crime. Theres no reason to throw this mans life away. Just another example of whats wrong with the US today.
52 votes

//5 Aug 02, 2008 11:39 PM | posted by: cehr
A genius goes to wast
46 votes

//4 Aug 02, 2008 05:54 PM | posted by: LOL
"Under the nickname "Solo", McKinnon, who used a limited 56K dial-up modem, discovered that lots of US security systems were running on insecure Microsoft Windows program, having no password protection."


----> Windows XP SP1 anyone?!??! hahahhah
Honestly i think its absolute horseshit that people get arrested PERIOD for such a SiMPLE hack. I know exactly what he did, and this information should really be made public knowledge all over the planet. It's PURELY the pentagon's fault for running machines with Windows XP SP1 and no admin password. SP2's local security policy has been adjsted to fix this.

So, Moral of the story: The pentagon has issues with Windows Update, AND, our gentlemen of a hacker shoulda used a secure connection... thinking "outside" of the box coulda came in handy :)
38 votes

//3 Aug 02, 2008 06:50 AM | posted by: Ninja
This man foudn the exploits in your network and didnt abuse it, he could of done so much more to destroy the US. Yet he didnt. He shud be free!
45 votes

//2 Aug 02, 2008 03:51 AM | posted by: DmT
This man is in jail, hello.
52 votes

//1 Aug 02, 2008 02:48 AM | posted by: Rohit
Damn idiots. Let the man go...

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