TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: UK Man Accusted of Hacking Pentagon Appears in Court

UK Man Accusted of Hacking Pentagon Appears in Court

Lisa Minter (
Wed, 8 Jun 2005 11:32:11 -0500

A British man the United States accused of carrying out the world's
"biggest military computer hack" appeared in court in London Wednesday
at the start of extradition hearings.

Gary Mckinnon was arrested Tuesday on charges of computer fraud issued
in November 2002 by U.S. prosecutors claiming he illegally accessed 97
U.S. government computers -- including Pentagon and Nasa systems --
over a 12-month period from February 2002, causing $700,000 worth of

If found guilty, he could face up to $1.75 million in fines and 70
years in jail.

Mckinnon was released on bail to July 27 and banned from using the

The 39-year-old entered Bow Street magistrates' court dressed in light
green combat trousers, blowing kisses to the public gallery.

The U.S. has admitted that although Mckinnon -- whose hacking name was
Solo -- accessed sensitive files there was no evidence that he
downloaded classified information or forwarded files to foreign

At the time of the indictment, Paul McNulty, US Attorney for the Eastern
District of Virginia, said: "Mr McKinnon is charged with the biggest
military computer hack of all time."

Mckinnon's defense lawyer told the court his client planned to vigorously
fight extradition to the United States.

Hackers have plagued increasingly nervous governments in recent years,
with British courts last week also beginning extradition hearings for
a couple wanted in connection with the theft of sensitive Israeli
defense data.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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