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US Military computer hacked - Is crime worth the sentence?

Discussion in 'Network Security' started by onoski, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I could not but only read the below link and article as Gary Mckinnon is being charged with the biggest computer hack of all times on the US military computers. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20071022/tpl-uk-britain-hacker-553508c_1.html

    Well on the other hand someone of he's caliber and computer knowledge should have known better not to mess with the US military's computer system or any other system for that matter.

    But hey, ain't taking sides but think 70yrs in jail if found guilty plus a $1.75 million dollar seems overly harsh and one broken ego of a body of this type. What's your opinion guys and gals?
     
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  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    They should give him a job! :biggrin
     
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  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    On a serious note though do you think the penalty warrants crime committed?
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep. Is the military to believe that "he was just playin' around" and not being paid by a hostile foreign government?

    Plus, it's not like he accidentally hacked one or two computers... he hacked *97* computers in four different governmental agencies.

    How is a $1.75M fine excessive when he caused more than $700K in damage, plus the cost of extraditing and prosecuting him?

    You don't tug on Superman's cape,
    you don't spit into the wind,
    you don't pull the mask off the ole' Lone Ranger,
    and you don't mess around with Jim...

    ...or the United States. :usa
     
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  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Mike, sounds like a soldier or old soldier once a soldier always a soldier:D.

    I think yes he should pay the price for he's expensive immaturity but taught sentence was too steep. I don't really know how they estimated the damaged caused to be $700,000 though? Probably he is being used as the scapegoat:(
     
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  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    They probably will.
    Don't be surprised if it doesn't get a huge amount of publicity!

    :biggrin
     
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  7. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I hope they throw the key away, and there should be a couple of network admins sitting right beside him. 97 computers and some of them down for 24 hours? Someone really dropped the ball on that one. Not sure why they are charging him that much money if he only done 700000. worth of damage. And how the hell is someone like that going to pay it back in prision? Never have understood how one is soupose to pay that back when locked up. Not like they allow most of them to have jobs.
     
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  8. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    And just why did he hack our goverment and not his own?
     
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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'd have said the same thing about a US person messing with the UK's computer systems, so my opinion has nothing to do with my service to the United States.

    Scapegoat or not, he REALLY shouldn't have been messing around with the computers of a foreign government if he didn't want that government coming after him. Sorry... that's just not very wise.
     
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  10. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    I actually agree with this - put him to good use where his talents can be exploited and even increased - pay him the going rate for the job BUT he is housed somewhere secure and his activities monitored (ie, on a base under house arrest) which he pays for, his wages entirely go to the military until his fine is paid off ($1.75 mil - maybe never!) and he actually "repays his debts to society" as the phrase says.

    Locking someone up for 70 years and a fine that he'll never be able to pay off because carpentry in a jail pays $2 an hour - what a waste - in that case, it is time for any government - UK, US..... to get a life.


    Back to the original question - I think it was an overreaction - but it may be deterent enough to stop others. And any decent network that needed security (or contain information that was mission critical/national security aware etc.etc.) wouldn't be hooked up to the internet/customer usable phone lines anyway!
     
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  11. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I'll say only that none of you know the facts. I know more of them than probably anyone else on this forum for reasons I won't go into. Suffice it to say that it is a massive overreaction by a government determined to 'prove a point'. Suffice it ALSO to say that McKinnon is no more skilled than I am - he just got 'lucky'.

    I don't condone what he did, certainly wouldn't do it myself and think that he deserves to be done for it, but I will say that he was able to do what he did because the Sys Admins were utter shite, and that he would NOT have been able to do it as easily in the UK (certainly not in Law Enforcement, where everything is, and has been for ages, sat behind a ridiculously secure screened WAN)

    I have heard him speak on a number of occasions - obviously, the more this has gone on, the more he has been silenced by his legal team, but - although he strikes me as a very likable chap, his motives (looking for evidence of cover-ups of extra-terrestrial contact (stop singgering at the back)) aren't exactly what I would call a threat to national security. Claims of him causing $700,000 worth of damage are also patent nonsense - it smacks of someone high up covering the arses of people who weren't doing their jobs properly in the first place. If a breach even remotely as serious as that took place in my job I would expect to be instantly dismissed.
     
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  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    ...so lets throw him in jail for 70 years :rolleyes:

    Seriously though, what happens if the guy had a more sinister motive? Not worth thinking about. The guys responsible for network security should hire that nerd! :biggrin
     
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  13. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    ive been following this quite a while and i think its a disgrace, anyone in this country caught doing it would of got a slap on the wrist and he was in this country when he did it and should not be expedited. The US government are trying to make an example of him because he hacked their systems using a dial up connection and wormed his way about because their systems were so poorly secured. They hadn't changed any passwords from the default and when he was caught he told them he was doing maintenance work and they let him continue. I don't think he actually damaged any of their systems he was merely gathering evidence on top secret projects they were doing, although he was unable to actually save any of this because of the program he was using. I think it's just an excuse in helping them to get him expedited so they can punish him for embarrassing them.

    grim
     
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  14. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    I'd second that - and the company contracted to do the work would have some serious questions asked to them as well!
     
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  15. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    If they had top secret anything on a network that was connected to the outside world I'd seriously wonder what the designers of the network were thinking originally - let alone the sys admins currently working on it!
     
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  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    This...

    is answered completely with this...

    Any decent network that needed security SHOULDN'T be hooked up so that they're easily hackable... but I can guarantee you that it happens... quite often, in fact. Sometimes, as Zeb describes, it's the fault of an admin who can't do the job correctly... but sometimes, it's the fault of administration implementing policy "requiring" holes to be open such that some admins don't have the nerve to stand up to their superiors and say, "You know, we REALLY shouldn't be doing that..."
     
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  17. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    I would have probably stopped typing if I had refreshed between the time that I started and eventually posted - I agree with what Zeb said exactly.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    Guys... just because I leave my house sitting unlocked doesn't make it OK for anyone to trespass inside of it. Nor does it make it OK for someone to enter my house if I merely lock it, but don't put heavy iron bars over the doors and windows.

    Should they have implemented better security procedures? Yes. But that doesn't make it OK for McKinnon to access those systems.
     
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  19. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    The way I see this playing out is they'll bang him up for 5 years whilst the furore continues then silently release him.
     
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  20. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I think this is turning out to be very political as the US military cannot and does not want to face the fact that it's computer systems were hacked. Yes, I fully agree with Mike's reply that just because one's door is left open does not mean an intruder should trespass without permit.

    Again, I personally belief all the noise being made is owing to retaining pride in the highest order. I have a lot of respect for the USA in general so no hard feelings, just got to call a spade a spade.
     
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