****NASA Nabs E-mail Bomb Hacker OTC 4/27/98 10:25 PM WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1998 APR 27 (Newsbytes) -- By Bill Pietrucha, Newsbytes. NASA is starting to send almost as many people to court for computer crimes as they are sending astronauts into orbit. An Alabama hacker pled guilty late last week to launching an e-mail bomb attack, bringing the agency's recent guilty plea record to a perfect four of four. [Four out of four? NASA has been publicly hacked a LOT more than four times. Does this mean they acknowledged four attacks? Or only tried to prosecute four?] The Alabama-based hacker pled guilty in United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, for sending damaging transmissions to a NASA electronic-mail server system, in violation of The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The court withheld the identity of the juvenile offender, and ordered him to comply with probationary conditions for 12 months. An investigation by special agents from the Computer Crimes Division (CCD) in NASA's Office of Inspector General found that the offender launched an e-mail bomb attack last August 4 consisting of 14,000 e-mail messages across a NASA network against another person using network systems in a commercial domain. The use of NASA's network bandwidth caused a simultaneous attack against the agency's electronic-mail network server at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama resulting in a loss of network services, CCD Director Thomas J. Talleur told Newsbytes. Although the juvenile's attack was intended against another individual, and not directly against NASA, other recent cases were more direct. Earlier this month, a former Kennedy Space Center contractor employee pled guilty in Federal district court at Orlando, Florida, to a charge that he used his workstation to hack into the computers of several Orlando businesses. Shawn Hillis, 26, of Orlando, Florida, a former employee of a NASA contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., used a NASA workstation at the Kennedy Space Center to gain unauthorized access to a computer network domain located at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and downloaded password files to his NASA workstation. The unauthorized access was discovered by NASA systems operations employees at Kennedy Space Center As part of the plea agreement, the court ordered Hillis to make restitution to other victims in Florida, including: Time Warner Cable; Full Service Network, formerly of Maitland; Diamond Star Network, Orlando; Internet Access Group, Altamonte Springs; and Junto Net Press, Winter Park, Florida. Hillis' case is set for sentencing on July 14. "Both government and private industry sources cite the Internet, inside offenders, and certain foreign countries as the biggest threats to the national security of the United States," Talleur told Newsbytes. "This is just another example of an inside offender." Two other inside offenders also recently pled guilty to using a NASA computer to download pornographic images from various Internet Web sites during duty hours. Nicholas Catalano and Jeffery Miller, former employees of the security contractor at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, pled guilty to a charge of violating NASA regulations in United States District Court, Hyattsville, Maryland, and were each sentenced to one year probation, 40 and 30 hours of community service, respectively, and a $175 fine. Talleur cautioned that most computer hackers today fall into more serious categories than the four recent cases NASA successfully prosecuted. "Today's hackers are not juveniles playing games," Talleur told Newsbytes. "The serious threats are coming from militias and other fringe groups who seriously want to disrupt and destroy the government, as well as from international terrorists and groups trying to spy by computer. "Computer security problems will get a lot worse before they get better," Talleur said, noting the growing sophistication, age, and motives behind hacking. "Many computer hacking cases now involve individuals in their mid-20s to mid-30s," Talleur said, "and they're involved with a number of fringe groups who either perceive the government as the enemy, or are trying to obtain information to destabilize government security." [I'd love to see backing to this claim.] =-= Reply From: Roger Harrison ?
> ****NASA Nabs E-mail Bomb Hacker > "Today's hackers are not juveniles playing games," Talleur told > Newsbytes. "The serious threats are coming from militias and other fringe > groups who seriously want to disrupt and destroy the government, as well > as from international terrorists and groups trying to spy by computer. what on earth is Talleur talking about? The Militia groups don't pose a threat on the internet. They don't want to disrupt and destroy the government. They want to help protect it. I don't think you could cite one single case of a militia engaging in computer hacking. Roger Harrison Eclipse Security