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Defendant also sold access to Domino's Pizza domain and other targets; enters plea deal with feds

Consider yourself a "l337 h@X0r"?  Black and gray hats might want to leave their egos at the door after comparing their own illegal exploits to those of Andrew "green" Jackson Miller, a 24-year-old native of Lancaster and Devon, Penn.

The young hacker -- a member of the "Underground Intelligence Agency" (UIA) hacker ring -- over a three-year period from 2008 to 2011 scored root access to a number of corporate and academic computers and clusters.  But Green's biggest score came when he hacked into the Cray XT4 supercomputing cluster at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL).  He gained that access by first hacking into a Japanese University's computer network, as well as Harvard University and the University of California at Davis's (UC Davis) computer networks.

This gave him access to the cluster's nearly tens of thousands of computer cores.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to close in as Mr. Miller sold his illegally acquired access privileges in 2012.  Talking on internet relay chat (IRC) FBI agents posing as prospective cybercrime buyers recorded Mr. Miller bragging of hacked access to American Express Comp. (AXP), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Google Inc. (GOOG), Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), WordPress, and many more.

The agents established a working relationship with Mr. Miller to lure him in.

Hopper
Hopper, one of LBL's supercomputers [Image Source: LBL]

They purchased access to Domino's Pizza, Inc.'s (DPZ) domain ($1,000), RNKTel (Mass.) administrative level customer database access ($1,000), and an ISP Layered Tech (Tex.) database with thousands of login credentials ($1,200).  The agents sent payments to Mr. Miller via Western Union Comp. (WU) money orders.

But when Mr. Miller offered to sell them access to the LBL supercomputer for $50,000 USD they arrested him.  Mr. Miller was taken into custody in June 2012 and charge with numerous computer fraud offenses.  His cohort Robert "Intel" Burns -- another UIA member -- pled guilty first, offering up evidence that the court used against Mr. Miller.

Faced with a likely unsuccessful fight to prove his innocence, on Tuesday Mr. Miller entered a plea deal [PDF] in which he reduced what could have been a sentence of 20 years, to 18 months behind bars, in exchange to pleading guilty to violations of:
In addition to his time served Mr. Miller faces three years of court supervision and may be required to pay damages to some of his victims, if he has the means.

Source: U.S. District Judge via Wired



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Sentence is a joke
By BillyBatson on 8/28/2013 10:06:31 PM , Rating: 3
Reduced to 18 MONTHS?! That's ridiculous! Sounds more like the government is recruiting a cyber crime white hat agent. That's a huge reduction just for pleading guilty unless he is also offering up evidence against others like what was done to him. Sounds like 18 months training followed by a government pension.




RE: Sentence is a joke
By Samus on 8/29/2013 12:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
It is safe to assume he will be recruited. They didn't spend the time and resources over the past two years tracking this guy down for nothing.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By bug77 on 8/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: Sentence is a joke
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2013 7:29:57 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed. In jail he's a worthless burden to the state. Offer him a job doing it against our enemies and he's a worthwhile member of society.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By mmatis on 8/29/2013 7:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just who, though, gets to decide who are our "enemies"? Eric the Red? Nappy Ho? James Clapper?


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Argon18 on 9/3/2013 5:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Obama the clown, of course. You may have heard of him. He's kind of like Krusty the Clown, but a lot stupider, and he lives in a bigger (white) house.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By purerice on 8/29/2013 10:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
In the wake of Snowden (my personal thoughts on that matter aside), I highly doubt the government will be anything but wary of hiring less than loyal hackers. The only two reasons to hire him would be to keep a tight noose on him and to allow him to get the info he wants as he invades the privacy of enemies of the State, which generally means law abiding citizens.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Salisme on 8/29/2013 6:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that 20 years was even on the table. 20 years for hacking? That penalty is up there with manslaughter and murder. Pedophiles and child porn phychos get less than that.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By djc208 on 8/29/2013 7:48:58 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sure that was the maximum sentence possible, which is not normally what is levied unless they're trying to make an example.

But honestly I'm not sure this kind of stuff shouldn't start to cary a more severe penalty. Like banking crimes the sheer number of people that can be affected grows every year. How much personal information could he or did he take? All of which can be used against those people. This kind of think stopped being "harmless fun" a long time ago.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By dgingerich on 8/29/2013 11:15:52 AM , Rating: 3
Well, pedophiles and child porn psychos should be getting more. That's for sure. That's worse than murder. They screw up lives from a very early time, and those victims frequently become drug addicts and troublemakers, burdens on society themselves. The same goes for drug dealers.

While murder and manslaughter should be getting 20 or 10 years, respectively, pedos and child porn purveyors should be getting 30 minimum, and drug dealers should be getting life without parole.

While a murder could be done in the heat of a moment by a normally productive person, and manslaughter could be done by someone who is productive, but just careless of what his actions do to others, drug dealers and pedos are inhumanly selfish and mentally deranged, recklessly ruining lives forever for their own pleasure or profit. Drug dealers and pedos will never be productive members of society. Society needs to be protected from them, permanently.

Prison isn't a place for punishment or reform. It is a place that society puts people that need to be separated from society for the good of the majority until they are no longer a threat. I don't understand how people can misunderstand this. Simple jail is a punishment, but full on prison is protection for those that can't be changed. That's the way it needs to be treated. There will always be some people who will be a threat to everyone else no matter what we do, and they need to be permanently separated from the rest of society for its protection.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 12:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, someone slinging weed should get more time than someone who kills someone! Brilliant! Get a life, seriously.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By dgingerich on 8/29/2013 1:32:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking weed. I'm talking coke, crack, heroine, opium, etc.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 1:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the drug, my point stands...


RE: Sentence is a joke
By dgingerich on 8/29/2013 2:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
The people who deal drugs that addict people, whether it is flatly illegal drugs like heroine or meth or prescription drugs outside of a doctor's approved use, do more than jsut kill people. Those drugs eat their souls. They leave useless or even violent husks that the rest of society pays to keep alive. Very, very, very few make it out of drug addictions like that and become useful members of society. Moreover, it removes the addicts from being useful members of society.

There have been many Hollywood and music stars in the news in recent years dying or becoming these useless husks over the past decade. How many get out? OK, RDJ is one example, but the rate in which people get out is tiny, and the cost behind it is HUGE. It costs near $100,000 in medical and living costs for someone who wants to get out to actually get out, and more than 90% of those who go through detox and addiction treatment go back to those drugs. That's more than most of these people will make in their lifetime. They can never pay that back to society. More often, those people die of it.

Dealing addicting drugs is much more damaging to society, and to the addicts and their families, than murder. The ones who deal this crap are far, far worse than murderers.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 3
Anddddddddd, the addict has a choice to get clean and get help, or not. That's their choice. The person who gets murdered, not so much. So again, my point stands.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By dgingerich on 8/29/2013 3:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Often, no, they don't. Most people simply don't have the strength of will to overcome an addiction of the magnitude of cocaine or opium, let alone meth or heroine. Once they're in, they're stuck. Once someone gets them to try it once or twice, they're addicted, and they won't ever have the will to get out. It really is that tough.

I was addicted to nicotine for a while. it took a lot just to get off that, and that's barely half the strength of a cocaine addiction, and far, far weaker than a meth addiction. I know how tough nicotine is. Many illegal drugs must be impossible. That's why success rates of the few people who try to get away are so low, and only about 10% of those who get addicted even try to get away from it.

On top of that, there is a cost to getting clean, and it is much, much more than most addicts could afford. A six week stay in a low cost rehab clinic is about $100,000. Lindsay Lohan's stay at the rather upscale clinic was up over 5 times that. Lindsay Lohan's stay was ordered by the state as part of a criminal conviction, so the state had to pay for it. Those who try to do it on their own frequently find they can't afford it.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 3:50:35 PM , Rating: 3
They have THE OPTION of a CHOICE, people who are murdered DO NOT. I can't believe you are actually arguing this.

Simply put, equating someone who sells drugs to be worse than someone who murders another human being and that you feel that a drug peddler should get life while someone who TAKES ANOTHERS life is absolutely idiotic.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2013 3:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh give me a break. The only difference between a drug dealer and the guy working the local liquor store is that one drug is illegal while the other is not.

quote:
Dealing addicting drugs is much more damaging to society, and to the addicts and their families, than murder. The ones who deal this crap are far, far worse than murderers.


That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By dgingerich on 8/29/2013 3:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
alcohol addiction is strong, yes. It's probably stronger than nicotine addiction. It destroys lives and kills, yes, but over 80% of people who try to quit drinking are able to quit for life.

However, it still isn't even close to the strength of a meth or heroine addiction. What's worse is that a human body gets physically addicted to meth or heroine after only a few uses. There is no such thing as a recreational user, like there is with alcohol. the human nervous system can't handle that.

For heroine, the drug that has killed so many Hollywood and music stars, including a few of my favorites, the nervous system stops being able to function correctly after only a few uses, and a full detox is necessary to get it out of someone's system, and that process kills in nearly 50% of ones that are done without medical monitoring. Even with medical monitoring, it is fatal nearly 5% of the time. After a detox, it takes days to weeks for the nervous system to heal enough to function without issue without the drug.

What's even more troublesome with heroine is that it requires more and more to get high the more it is used, which is why there are so many overdoses that kill among the rich. They have the money to keep on raising the dose and eventually overdo it. Among the regular people, addicts frequently wind up beggars or prostitutes before they can get to the point of overdosing. They'll get some windfall, cross the path of some "generous" person who gives them money thinking they'll use it for food, and the person will get enough heroine to overdose. One of my favorite actors, Glenn Quinn, had something like this happen. He wasn't down to the point of being a beggar, but he was mostly broke. A friend gave him money to help him get into an apartment, and instead he used it to get a bunch of heroine and killed himself with an overdose right in the guy's living room.

Addiction is insidious. Those who push it are downright evil. you think there are no monsters in this world? drug dealers are monsters of the most insidious kind.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2013 4:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of all that, the point still stands. Nobody chooses to be murdered. But people make choices to become drug addicts.

Claiming drug dealers are worst than murderers is simply absurd.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By jimbo2779 on 8/30/2013 6:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry mate but a lot of what you wrote is pure bunkem. There is nothing that I am aware of that is addictive after just 1 or 2 hits, everything takes a degree of habitual doses to form a habit, ts not once and you are hooked for any drug.

There are many users of hard drugs that will use it a few times and realise that they are heading down a slippery path and get the F out of there. I have a lot of experience with addiction of all kinds and to suggest that alcohol addiction is not in the same league as a lot of illegal drugs is just incorrect.

Most addicts that get clean relapse, whether it be "hard drugs" or alcohol, 80% of alcoholics staying clean is an absolute fantasy and is not anywhere near the realms of what is realistic. For alcoholics the true stat is closer to 20% stay sober for 90days and the rate drops significantly past that point. This is probably higher than a lot of drugs but the networks and help available for these "sufferers" is a lot more robust than the treatments for "harder" drugs.

The truth is that all addiction is hard to overcome, most people relapse at some point and this goes for all drugs.

What the guy was saying about the only difference between a drug dealer and the guy behind the counter at your local supermarket is that one drug is legal and the other is not. This is not an opinion this is an absolute irrefutable fact.

Alcohol is a drug, illegal drugs are drugs; alcohol is addictive, some illegal drugs are addictive; alcohol kills, some illegal drugs kill. Deal with it.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Fritzr on 8/30/2013 9:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
Check into the research on nicotine addiction. Effects vary, but for many the first dose is enough.

Tobacco companies were well aware of this effect in the first half of the 20th century and spent a lot of money preventing independent research.

When talking about drug addiction you do need to include the legal drugs. The only real difference between legal and illegal is the possession penalties.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Argon18 on 9/3/2013 5:10:19 PM , Rating: 1
What point? That dealers of hard drugs should not get harsh prison sentences because they 'aren't hurting anyone'?

Except for the fact that hard drugs kill a whole lot of people every year, not to mention the violence that organized drug cartels inflict. More than 100,000 people are murdered every year in mexico by drug cartels. Let that sink in for a moment. 100,000 people murdered. When you buy hard drugs from a dealer in the US, where do you think that money is ultimately going?


RE: Sentence is a joke
By rightwingidiots on 9/15/2013 10:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
I know right? as if theres a difference LOL. last generation seem to be incapable of thinking for themselves.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By bill.rookard on 8/29/2013 12:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, almost as bad as the 54 year old teacher who was having improper relationships with his students who was sentenced to time served + 30 days. So - he got 3 years + 30 days for statutory rape of a 14 year old girl.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By captainBOB on 8/29/2013 6:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
As well as being on the sex offender list for life. The guy might have a short sentence compared to a murderer, but the sex offender tag is scarlet letter that will make him unable to find anything more than a minimum wage job, if he's lucky to find one that will take him.

Being on "the list" is a far worse prospect than being behind bars IMO.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2013 4:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Excessive sentencing is the real crime in our country. Same goes for overzealous prosecution. Remember, unless we're dealing with murder or armed robbery, the purpose behind imprisonment/criminal justice is to re-habilitate the individual in a way they can use their abilities for positive things in society. Throwing this kid away for twenty years will be a huge waste of a clever mind.

Making him white-hat for the Government is the obvious and clear solution to the problem thus allowing him later to consult for other companies turning his talent into good.


RE: Sentence is a joke
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2013 5:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. It's much better that he use his skills in helping our Government further infringe on our privacy rights...


RE: Sentence is a joke
By rightwingidiots on 9/15/2013 10:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
you know, people like you must have gotten beaten up a lot in school. 18 months is a ridiculous sentence for a crime like this. Same as being put away longer for snorting a line of cocaine than you will for raping a woman. Our courts are prosecution happy. There is a plethora of ways they could have punished this guy that wouldn't waste tax dollars or prison space that can be used for REAL criminals. VIOLENT criminals. Sigh... right wing idiots.


How many did you say...?
By FaaR on 8/28/2013 8:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
How many CPU cores are "nearly tens of thousands"? :)




RE: How many did you say...?
By amanojaku on 8/28/2013 8:51:33 PM , Rating: 5
It's over 9,000!


RE: How many did you say...?
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: How many did you say...?
By sixteenornumber on 8/29/2013 5:25:19 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Congratulations, you win at the internet! Would you like a piece of pie?


I think you mean cake... delicious cake!


RE: How many did you say...?
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 9:01:23 AM , Rating: 3
But the cake is a lie....


RE: How many did you say...?
By SuckRaven on 8/29/2013 8:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many CPU cores are "nearly tens of thousands"? :)


ten( s ) plural

quote:
It's over 9,000!


I think you mean it's over 19,000. But probably better to say a minimum of 19,999. (Even though it's not =)


RE: How many did you say...?
By Totally on 8/29/2013 9:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't notice the airport behind his house.


RE: How many did you say...?
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/29/2013 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
LOL


RE: How many did you say...?
By daboom06 on 8/29/2013 9:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
you, sir, lose the internet.


RE: How many did you say...?
By ilt24 on 8/29/2013 10:04:41 AM , Rating: 2
"Cray XT4 supercomputer cluster (Franklin) has 9,660 compute nodes. Each has quad-core AMD processors running at 2.3 GHz. Franklin has 38,640 processor cores, with 8 GB of memory per node and a total 350 TB of usable disk space"

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/08/hacker-su...


RE: How many did you say...?
By Motoman on 8/29/2013 10:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
No, 10,001 cores would qualify as "tens of thousands," granted that anything above the base unit (in this case ten thousand) is plural.

At any rate, the phrase in the article is very poorly formed.


bragging rights
By wolfmanjam on 8/29/2013 9:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
thats gotta be one of the most rookie mistakes. who the hell does something that high profile and then brags about it? the only way to ensure your safety from being sold out is to not talk about it with ANYONE. if this guy had just kept quiet, no one would have been any the wiser




RE: bragging rights
By Makaveli on 8/29/2013 9:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
Good point but it just goes to show you can't trust no one.

the next guy will sell you out to not serve jail time in a heartbeat.

so few rookie mistakes were made.


RE: bragging rights
By rightwingidiots on 9/15/2013 10:16:01 PM , Rating: 1
yea his friend/associate is most certainly scum. Whats hilarious is they put his name out here LOL. if I ever meet mr "intel" remind me to slap the livingfuckshit out of him for being a backstabbing cunt.


RE: bragging rights
By ammaross on 8/29/2013 10:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
He didn't "brag" about it. He simply offered to sell the credentials to a repeat customer...that just happened to be the Feds...


RE: bragging rights
By R3T4rd on 8/29/2013 11:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
First rule of hacking: You don't talk about hacking.

Second rule of hacking: You don't talk about hacking.


Got greedy
By UnauthorisedAccess on 8/28/2013 9:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
...makes me think how many black hats go unnoticed as I'm sure many don't do it to make a name or a quick buck.




RE: Got greedy
By polishvendetta on 8/29/2013 8:34:23 AM , Rating: 2
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I dont know about anyone else, but if I could do something very few if any person has ever done before, I doubt I could stay quiet about it.


If he has the means?
By exeedorbit on 8/29/2013 8:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
My problem is with those last two lines:

"In addition to his time served Mr. Miller faces three years of court supervision and may be required to pay damages to some of his victims, if he has the means ."

I'm not sure I understand that what that last part means. Are we to punish criminals now, as long as its convenient for them?




RE: If he has the means?
By lagomorpha on 8/29/2013 9:36:36 AM , Rating: 2
It means you can't squeeze blood from a stone.

If he gets out of prison only to find himself unemployable how are you going to collect money from him? Throw him into debtor's prison if he doesn't pay?


Hire Guy
By sluze on 8/29/2013 10:13:31 AM , Rating: 2
First off, fantastic reference lol

Second, if banks can be 'too big to fail' and manufacturers can 'employ too many people to fail' then this guy is 'too good to send to jail'. The US needs guys like this working for them, pay him a truck load of money and give him really wicked tech to play with and let him loose in the world of cyber warfare.




news
By mikeyjohn on 8/29/13, Rating: 0
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














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