Brit charged with hacking U.S. military systems

A computer administrator from London was indicted today by two federal grand juries on computer fraud charges for hacking 105 computer systems throughout the U.S. military from March 2001 to March 2002.

Gary McKinnon was indicted in Alexandria and New Jersey on charges that he deleted files and caused a total loss of Internet access and e-mail service to thousands of users in the Defense Department, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and NASA.

After a 17-month investigation, which traced the intrusions through several civilian networks to the United Kingdom, McKinnon was apprehended in London by Britain's National High Tech Crime Unit. U.S. officials are working with the unit to extradite McKinnon.

Investigating the crimes with British authorities were the Army's Criminal Investigation Command's Computer Crime Investigative Unit, NASA's Office of the Inspector General, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the 902nd Military Intelligence Group-Information Warfare Branch, DOD's Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Special agent Brent A. Pack, operations officer of the Army's Computer Crime Investigative Unit, said nabbing the hacker was a challenge for military investigators.

'The task of collecting, examining and reporting the more than 1T of electronic evidence involved in this case has been tremendous,' Pack said.

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