Print 42 comment(s) - last by James6.. on Apr 6 at 12:16 PM

Gary McKinnon will likely be sent to the United States to stand trial for various computer crimes

A British hacker accused of breaking into secured government computers and causing more than $700,000 in computer damages lost an extradition appeal in the U.K.  Last May, McKinnon was indicted in northern Virginia and New Jersey, at the same time a British judge decided that the hacker should be extradited to face charges.  This time, two leading British judges rejected the challenge -- McKinnon now wants his case to be heard in the House of Lords, England's highest appeals court.   

McKinnon compromised around 100 computer systems, some of which were operated by the Pentagon and NASA.  The alleged intrusions took place from February 2001 to March 2002, leading to McKinnon's arrest in 2002.  He was caught because some of the software he used in the attacks was later traced back to an e-mail address his girlfriend used.

McKinnon admitted that he made the intrusions, along with saying the damage was unintentional and he was looking for evidence of UFOs. The U.S. government has spent a considerable amount of time reassuring U.K. prosecutors that McKinnon would be given a fair trial once in U.S. jurisdiction.  

If convicted, the man who carried out "the biggest military hack of all time" could face up to 70 years in prison along with fines up to $1.7 million.

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By Beenthere on 4/4/2007 5:51:32 PM , Rating: -1
The only good hacker is a dead hacker.

By gradoman on 4/4/2007 7:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they'd be better off working at a security firm.

By Spartan Niner on 4/5/2007 2:15:26 AM , Rating: 3

1. someone who plays golf poorly
2. a programmer who breaks into computer systems in order to steal or change or destroy information as a form of cyber-terrorism
3. a programmer for whom computing is its own reward; may enjoy the challenge of breaking into other computers but does no harm; "true hackers subscribe to a code of ethics and look down upon crackers"
4. one who works hard at boring tasks [syn: hack]

Now I don't know what ignorant definition of hacking you've been taught by the media, but #3 is probably closest to the original meaning of "hacker", not the bastardized meaning portrayed by the news media of including anything from script-kiddies to cyber-thugs and malware-writers. I don't consider script-kiddies to be hackers, and I certainly wouldn't group cyber-thugs and malware-writers with them. "Hackers" have been around since Steve Russell et al. wrote code and tweaked oscilloscopes to make Spacewar

By bldckstark on 4/5/2007 12:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
The word "Cracker" was derived from combining two words. Those being "Criminal" and "Hacker". That should tell you the difference between the use of the words. Cracker is also a slang word used dergatorially to describe caucasians. This is why you rarely see it used in the media. Using the term cracker to describe criminal hacking would cause some uptight white Democrat to call Greenpeace on the newspaper, thinking they used a derogatory term. Aren't we all better off with this politically correct world!!

By Motley on 4/5/2007 1:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
No, cracker didn't derive from combining two words. Cracker came from being able to break into something. As in "To crack a safe", or "crack a walnut".

By rcc on 4/5/2007 6:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
The evolution/spread of the term is pretty humorous considering it was originally coined as a derogatory name by programmers to describe someone that "hacked" code from other peoples programs rather than write their own.

By Proteusza on 4/5/2007 5:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
The whole case is rather tragic. He should be tried here in the UK like any other hacker. But the real reason the US wants him over there, is because they are embarrassed and want to make an example of him. I read an article about him, and his crime, and he says it was easy to get into their network. No doubt it was not as secure as they hoped, and they were unpleasantly surprised to see a stranger snooping around. I dont doubt this incident made the US improve their security 100 fold, so that another incident like this will no longer possible.

he was only one man, he was only curious, and he get anywhere he wanted. Anyone else think that NASA and the Army should be better protected than that?

Oh how did he incur $700 000 worth of damage? Is that what they spent improving their security after they realized they had been owned?

if one of the machines gets compromised on your network, blame the hacker. If all machines on many metropolitan networks across different departments get compromised, you can only blame yourself for being so stupid. thats also why he won't be employed - he didn't get in because he was a genius, he got in because security was lax.

He deserves a jail sentence, but he deserves on here in the UK, and for no more than 10 years in total.

By bohhad on 4/5/2007 10:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
nope, he's going to the US to do 70 years in a federal, pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

your justification sucks. so if one house burns down, blame the arsonist, if the whole town burns down, blame public safety for being asleep at the wheel?

By Christopher1 on 4/6/2007 6:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, that's a pretty good reasoning there. If an arsonist sets one house on fire with the intent to only burn that house, and the whole town burns down, you have to blame public safety and the firefighters today, because with all the equipment that firefighters have now, they should be able to put out that one fire before it burns down more than that one house.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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