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.
- Datacenter eGuide
- Read on to learn what technologies are essential for high-performing data centers today, and to get a glimpse of what the data center...
- EndPoint Interactive eGuide
- In this eGuide, Network World, Computerworld, and CIO examine two endpoint trends - BYOD and collaboration - and offer tips and advice on...
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery
- Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery
- Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging... All Government IT White Papers
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- All Government IT Webcasts