Wednesday, 8 June 2005
|1155 - Another argument for the offense of felony st00pid|
The London Evening Standard is reporting that the "worlds biggest computer hacker" has been arrested in London. Gary McKinnon, 39, was seized by the Met's extradition unit at his Wood Green home. The unemployed former computer engineer is accused of causing the US government $1billion of damage by breaking into its most secure computers at the Pentagon and Nasa. He is likely to be extradited to America to face eight counts of computer crime in 14 states and could be jailed for 70 years. Apparently he broke into US military computers to hunt for evidence of a UFO cover-up.
Render unto me a ****ing break. This guy believes in a UFO coverup so much that he broke into lots of US government computers to try to find evidence of it?! How much of a crackpot can one person be?
If anyone ever deserved to go to prison for felony st00pid, it's this character.
current mood: incredulous
The hunt for alleged UFO evidence is, of course, an explanation and not an excuse (which I gather is more or less your position, as well). No difference between this MO, and if he had jimmied a door open with a crowbar.
A few years on the Maricopa County chain gang won't do this chap any harm.
However, $1 billion in damages is a ridiculous figure. This guy script-kiddied his way into some boxes, and that amounts to a billion dollars? I don't think so. You can get an entire Burke-class destroyer for less than a billion dollars. So unless what this guy did was tantamount to destroying one of those, that figure has about as much credence as the RIAA's estimates of how much money they lose to piracy every year.
CNN is reporting
that it's $1 million, not $1 billion. That makes a lot more sense, especially given that the guy allegedly shut down a bunch of systems.
Somewhere along the line, a screened comment questioning the $1BB price tag for the damage will show up here.
Granted, there's a handgrenades-and-horseshoes aspect to this kind of damage estimation, but I imagine the cost of "repairs" on a software, and perhaps literal repairs on hardware, including labour costs and such, must have mounted to a pretty penny. If data was destroyed in the breakin, add the costs of restoration and such to that.
My guess is damages were quite costly, but there's a definite H&H aspect to this estimation.