Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Judge gives nod to hacker's extradition

McKinnon faces stiff sentence in US.

Article comments

A British judge has approved a request by the US for the extradition of an unemployed systems administrator accused of causing US$700,000 in damage by hacking into US military and government computers.

Gary McKinnon is accused of deleting data and illegally accessing information on US government computers between February 2001 and March 2002. Prosecutors allege McKinnon significantly disrupted government computers, causing damage that jeopardised military networks.

British investigators seized McKinnon's computers in March 2002. McKinnon admitted installing remote access software on computers he targeted in the US.

The US filed an extradition request after British officials decided not to prosecute McKinnon because the alleged crimes occurred within the US.

McKinnon's attorneys fought extradition, fearing that he could be classed as an enemy combatant and be held indefinitely, awaiting trial by a military court.

The US said McKinnon would not be held as an enemy combatant, and would face trial in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Judge Nicholas Evans rejected arguments that McKinnon could be subjected to torture and inhuman treatment in the US Evans referred the case to Home Secretary, John Reid to decide whether McKinnon will be extradited.

The soft-spoken McKinnon maintains he didn't damage the computers, owned by the US Army and Navy, the Department of Defense and the NASA space agency. McKinnon, who used the name "Solo" during his exploits, has said he was researching UFOs.

McKinnon used a program called RemotelyAnywhere to control other computers, accessing administrator accounts and gaining passwords for 39 of the 97 computers he is accused of hacking, British court documents said.

US officials claim that McKinnon's actions went beyond mere snooping. They allege McKinnon deleted files from computers at the US Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, causing the shutdown of 300 computers at a "critical" time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

British investigators said McKinnon admitted to leaving a note on a US Army computer that read "U.S. foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days.... I am Solo. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels."


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *