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
8/30/2013 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.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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