“To hear the US government tell it, Gary McKinnon is a dangerous man, and should be extradited back to America to stand trial in a Virginia courtroom,” Clark Boyd reports for BBC News. “One US prosecutor has accused him of committing ‘the biggest military computer hack of all time.’ If extradited, Mr McKinnon could face decades in US jail, and fines of close to $2m.”
“The US government alleges that between February 2001 and March 2002, the 40-year-old computer enthusiast from North London hacked into dozens of US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense computers, as well as 16 Nasa computers,” Boyd reports. “It says his hacking caused some $700,000 dollars worth of damage to government systems. What’s more, they allege that Mr McKinnon altered and deleted files at a US Naval Air Station not long after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and that the attack rendered critical systems inoperable. The US government also says Mr McKinnon once took down an entire network of 2,000 US Army computers. His goal, they claim, was to access classified information.”
McKinnon admits “that he hacked into dozens of US government computer systems. In fact, he calmly detailed just how easy it was to access extremely sensitive information in those systems. ‘I found out that the US military use Windows,’ said Mr McKinnon in that BBC interview. ‘And having realised this, I assumed it would probably be an easy hack if they hadn’t secured it properly.’ Using commercially available software, Mr McKinnon probed dozens of US military and government networks. He found many machines without adequate password or firewall protection. So, he simply hacked into them,” Boyd reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: That the US military would use insecure Microsoft Windows operating systems for any computer containing sensitive information is beyond belief.
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