Hacker gets 18 months for peddling computer access to U.S. national security lab
The man offered to sell an undercover FBI agent entry to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory supercomputers
IDG News Service - A Pennsylvania man who hacked into multiple corporate, university and government computer networks and tried to sell access to them -- including access to supercomputers from a U.S. national security laboratory -- has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Andrew Miller, 24, pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy and two counts of computer fraud for actions committed between 2008 and 2011, when he was part of the Underground Intelligence Agency hacking group, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday. Miller was sentenced Wednesday.
Miller asked an undercover FBI agent in 2011 for $50,000 in exchange for access to two supercomputers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, according to the DOJ.
The Oakland, California, lab belongs to the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science and is managed by the University of California, according to its website. The supercomputers Miller claimed he had accessed were part of the lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).
According to court documents, the FBI never "bought" the access credentials for the lab, but it did obtain from Miller proof that he had accessed two supercomputers that provide computing resources for the U.S. Department of Energy. He told the FBI got the access after breaking into a Japanese university with connections to the NERSC.
The FBI did buy from Miller access to computer servers from RNKTel.com, a Massachusetts telecommunications provider. Miller also sold to the undercover agents access to servers from Colorado ad agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky which hosted websites, databases and email servers from a variety of merchants, including from Domino's Pizza.
The FBI also bought from Miller what court documents describe as a "massive database of thousands of log-in credentials into hundreds of computer networks" which he said he obtained by hacking into servers from Layered Tech, a Texas Internet service provider.
Miller's modus operandi consisted of breaking into computer networks via a variety of methods, including targeting specific authorized network users and infecting their computers with malware, which allowed him to steal their log-in information.
Then, once inside the network, he would look for valuable information, such as log-in information from other users, and he would install "backdoors" with his own passwords. This allowed him to return to the networks while bypassing security and to potentially sell access to them to cybercriminals.
In computer chats with the undercover agents, Miller claimed to have hacked into servers from American Express, Yahoo, Google, Adobe, Wordpress, Cisco, Harvard University and the University of California at Davis. He also claimed to have accessed very sensitive U.S. government networks from agencies including NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Move Mission-Critical Apps to the Cloud with AWS and F5
- Read this paper to learn about adoption inhibitors of the cloud, potential solutions, and how advanced Application Delivery Controller (ADC) technologies are critical...
- Pivotal Melds Big Data and Platform-as-a-service
- The value of Information has increased, so has the business's thirst for more information. Access to data and collaboration are at the heart...
- Operationalizing the Buzz: Big Data 2013
- The 2013 EMA/9sight Big Data research surveyed 259 business and technology stakeholders around the world.
- The Pivotal Big Data Suite- Reducing the Risks of Big Data
- The explosion of big data and the rapid evolution of big data tools and technologies is challenging IT to meet the demands of... All Government IT White Papers
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- All Government IT Webcasts