Ex-FBI Computer Informant Pleads Guilty to Hacking

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000925/tc/crime_hacker_dc_1.html (404's now)

Monday September 25 9:03 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A man who officials said once was a
confidential FBI source on computer criminals has pleaded guilty to
breaking into government computers, the U.S. Attorney's office said on

In a plea agreement, Max Ray Butler, 27, also known as Max Vision,
admitted to one felony charge of unauthorized access to protected
computers, recklessly causing damage. Butler, who is free on bail,
will be sentenced Jan. 22 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in
prison and a fine of $250,000.

Butler was indicted by a federal grand jury in March and charged with
15 counts of breaking into and damaging hundreds of computers as well
as possessing with intent to defraud the passwords of 477 customers of
California Internet service provider Aimnet.

His arrest came amid growing concern over a number of high-profile
computer hacker attacks.

Authorities said there was no connection between Butler and the
``denial-of-service'' attacks in early February that temporarily cut
off customers to some of the Web's biggest sites, including Yahoo!,
eBay, Amazon.com and E-Trade.

An FBI affidavit filed to support a search of his home showed Butler,
of Berkeley, California, had been a confidential source for FBI agents
tracking computer crimes before authorities began their 22-month
investigation of him in May 1998.

The FBI, the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the U.S. Navy opened the
investigation after U.S. Air Force computer systems around the country
were attacked in May 1998. It was unclear when Butler became their

Butler was subsequently accused of hacking into computers belonging to
the U.S. Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratories in
Illinois and the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York; NASA's
Marshall Flight Center in Alabama; the office of the Secretary of
Transportation in Washington; the office of the Secretary of the
Department of Defense in Washington; unspecified facilities of the
Department of Defense; and IDSoftware of Mesquite, Texas

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