Teen does time for NASA, military hacks

A 16-year-old Miami resident who hacked into military and NASA computer

systems will serve six months in a detention facility for his offenses.

It's the first instance of a convicted juvenile hacker having to serve

time for acts of juvenile delinquency, the Justice Department announced

Thursday. He owned up to a number of computer intrusions dating from Aug.

23, 1999, to Oct. 27, 1999.

The teenager goes by the name "cOmrade" on the Internet, but his real-world

identity was not released.

He made his way into a military computer network used by the U.S. Defense

Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He also gained unauthorized access to a

server located in Dulles, Va., and installed backdoor access, according

to a Justice statement.

The backdoor program collected more than 3,300 messages distributed

by DTRA staff. In addition, the hacker discovered at least 19 user names

and passwords of the computer accounts of DTRA employees — 10 of which resided

on military computers, Justice said.

The teen also accessed 13 NASA computers at the Marshall Space Flight

Center in Huntsville, Ala. He retrieved and downloaded proprietary software

from NASA worth about $1.7 million. NASA uses the software to support the

International Space Station's physical environment. Computer systems at

NASA were forcibly put out of business for 21 days in July 1999 to deal

with the security breaches.


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