Bedroom NASA hacker set to bite pillow in choky

Pinecrest boy pining for freedom


A Florida teenager was banged up for six months yesterday after admitting he hacked into NASA systems.

Jonathan James, known as "cOmrade" on the Net, pleaded guilty to intercepting 3,300 emails, stealing passwords, and nicking data from 13 NASA computers - including some involved with the International Space Station.

The not-so-sweet 16-year-old will do time in a Florida detention centre - he was just 15 when the crimes occurred.

"Breaking into someone else's property, whether it's a robbery or a computer intrusion, is a serious crime," said Attorney General Janet Reno, AP reported

According to the Miami Herald, the lad sat in his bedroom in Pinecrest, Southern Florida, and used his Gateway Pentium 266 computer to access some of the world's most top-secret information.

He was busted by federal agents from Fort Lauderdale touting weapons and bulletproof vests. But not before he had downloaded $1.7 million in NASA proprietary software that supports its environmental systems. Apparently it cost NASA $41,000 to check and fix the system after the hack attack.

As part of his sentence he will apparently have to swallow his pride and write apology letters to both the secretary of defence and the administrator of NASA.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Jason Diekman was arrested in California yesterday and charged with hacking into systems belonging to NASA and several universities - including Harvard, Stanford and Cornell. ®

Related Stories

Hackers target US-Russian exercise
So-called hackers: Please grow up
Nuke hacker had by Feds
Teenager pays back £200,000 over Net stock scam


Other stories you might like

  • UK Home Secretary delays Autonomy founder extradition decision to mid-December

    Could be a Christmas surprise in store from Priti Patel

    Autonomy Trial Autonomy founder Mike Lynch's pending extradition to the US has been kicked into the long grass again by the UK Home Office.

    Lynch is wanted in the US to stand trial on 17 charges of fraud and false accounting. He is alleged to have defrauded Hewlett Packard investors over the sale of British software firm Autonomy in 2011.

    Continue reading
  • Want to buy your own piece of the Pi? No 'urgency' says Upton of the listing rumours

    A British success story... what happens next?

    Industry talk is continuing to circulate regarding a possible public listing of the UK makers of the diminutive Raspberry Pi computer.

    Over the weekend, The Telegraph reported that a spring listing could be in the offing, with a valuation of more than £370m.

    Pi boss, Eben Upton, described the newspaper's article as "interesting" in an email to The Register today, before repeating that "we're always looking at ways to fund the future growth of the business, but the $45m we raised in September has taken some of the urgency out of that."

    Continue reading
  • All change at JetBrains: Remote development now, new IDE previewed

    Security, collaboration, flexible working: Fleet does it all apparently

    JetBrains has introduced remote development for its range of IDEs as well as previewing a new IDE called Fleet, which will form the basis for fresh tools covering all major programming languages.

    JetBrains has a core IDE used for the IntelliJ IDEA Java tool as well other IDEs such as Android Studio, the official programming environment for Google Android, PyCharm for Python, Rider for C#, and so on. The IDEs run on the Java virtual machine (JVM) and are coded using Java and Kotlin, the latter being primarily a JVM language but with options for compiling to JavaScript or native code.

    Fleet is "both an IDE and a lightweight code editor," said the company in its product announcement, suggesting perhaps that it is feeling some pressure from the success of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, which is an extensible code editor. Initial language support is for Java, Kotlin, Go, Python, Rust, and JavaScript, though other languages such as C# will follow. Again like VS Code, Fleet can run on a local machine or on a remote server. The new IDE uses technology developed for IntelliJ such as its code-processing engine for features such as code completion and refactoring.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021