Friday, August 08, 2008

Former U.S. Prosecutor: UFO Hack Looked Like Terrorist Attack

Sharon Gaudin writes on ComputerWorld:

After the computer network at the Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey was breached and crashed just a few weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, investigators thought it might be part of a larger al-Qaeda plot against the United States.

Investigators worked around the clock to figure out who had been in and out of the system that runs the weapons station for about five months, stealing passwords, installing remote access software, deleting data and ultimately shutting down the network of 300 computers for an entire week. That weeklong shutdown meant that for that period of time -- in the aftermath of attacks on the U.S. -- the station couldn't do its job of replenishing munitions and supplies to the Atlantic fleet.

Was the break-in organized by a nation-state? A terrorist group? After throwing critical resources at the probe when the government was already investigating not only the 9/11 attacks but the anthrax killings, investigators didn't track the breach to al-Qaeda. They tracked it to an unemployed system administrator in the U.K. -- Gary McKinnon, who was subsequently charged with hacking into 92 computer systems at the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense and NASA.

More here.


At Sun Aug 10, 02:45:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to ignore the juiciness of an irony that it's practically dripping... Gary McKinnon would have been laughed right out of the courtroom of the European human rights court years ago (before Bush Jr), but (presumably) given the Bush administration's rape of Habeas Corpus and their authorization of torture techniques, his appeal has actually been granted.

Apparently you can't have your cake and eat it too - who would have thunk it?


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