July 28, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - At the Bow Street Magistrates' Court Gary McKinnon was accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage to United States government computers as the US government seeks to extradite him for his hacking crimes.
Inspired as a child by the movie War Games, McKinnon broke into nearly a hundred different military and NASA computers over the course of several years in a search for information realted to UFOs.
The hacker grew increasingly careless over time as he continued to find government computers unsecured and easily penetrated. He even talked with administrators using word pad while he was hacking them and eventually was caught after downloading a remote control software program using his real email address.
Gary McKinnon is now facing up to 70 years in a Virginia jail.
While what McKinnon did was wrong, the fact that he could do it without even having to crack passwords is a shameful reflection of how poor government security is. Surely, there are those in the world with malicious intent and more resources than an un-employed Brit stoner that were and are hacking and attempting to hack these same computers.
McKinnon himself claims to have seen other hackers connections to these same computers from all over the world 'every night'.
If McKinnon has brought the public's attention to these unsecured systems that contain top secret information for a mere $700,000 than he should be rewarded. If the government were to pay a contractor like Kellog, Root & Brown who knows how many hundreds of millions they would charge to point out to administrators that they should be using logins with passwords for their computers.
Does governmental incompotence never end?