Hacking the Gibson: 24 YO Scored Root on Nation's Top Supercomputers
August 28, 2013 7:14 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(LBL). He gained that access by first hacking into a Japanese University's computer network, as well as
University of California at Davis
's (UC Davis) computer networks.
This gave him access to
'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. (
), Yahoo! Inc. (
), Google Inc. (
), Adobe Systems Inc. (
), WordPress, and many more.
The agents established a working relationship with Mr. Miller to lure him in.
Hopper, one of LBL's supercomputers [Image Source: LBL]
They purchased access to Domino's Pizza, Inc.'s (
) 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. (
) 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:
18 U.S.C. § 371 "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States"
18 USC § 1030 "Fraud and related activity in connection with computers"
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.
U.S. District Judge via Wired
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RE: Sentence is a joke
8/29/2013 3:56:21 PM
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
8/29/2013 4:17:50 PM
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
8/30/2013 6:46:46 AM
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
8/30/2013 9:46:25 AM
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.
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