NASA hacker sentenced to juvenile facility

NASA hacker sentenced to juvenile facility

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

A 16-year-old hacker who last year broke into NASA systems will spend six months in a juvenile detention facility.

The teen-ager, whose name is being withheld because of his age, pleaded guilty to two counts of juvenile delinquency.

The hacker downloaded $1.7 million worth of proprietary software that NASA uses to support the International Space Station. The security breach caused a 21-day shutdown of the NASA systems and cost the space agency more than $41,000 in labor and equipment, Justice Department officials said.

The teen-ager, known on the Internet as c0mrad, admitted late last month in U.S. District Court in Miami that he also was responsible for intrusions into a Defense Department network used by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. That break-in occurred from Aug. 23 to Oct. 27, Justice officials said.

DOD affected

In his confession, c0mrad told the court he installed a back door on a router in Dulles, Va., collected more than 3,300 electronic messages to and from the agency's staff, and captured at least 19 user names and passwords to agency computer accounts. The passwords included 10 user names and passwords for DOD computers, he told the court.

The teen hacked into 13 systems at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., using two Internet service providers to originate the attacks, Justice officials said.

Attorney General Janet Reno said, 'This case, which marks the first time a juvenile hacker will serve time in a detention facility, shows that we take computer intrusion seriously and are working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively fight this problem.'

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