- Articles & News
- For IT Pros
- Your Opinion
After the Roswell affair and Area 51, countless rumors have circulated regarding the US Army and allegations that it hides certain things dealing with extra-terrestrial life forms. Fantasy for some, a serious subject for others - the debate still rages on. A 39-year-old Scot decided to contribute his own answers to it. How? Simply by invading the Army's computers...
Gary McKinnon is a British hacker driven by curiosity, as most are - a curiosity that is unlimited, because he was quickly noted for achieving what some today call "the greatest computer attack against military sites of all time". Persuaded that the Army was hiding certain details concerning UFOs, between 2001 and 2002 he decided to access one of NASA's servers. The traces of this act were quickly found in computers belonging to the Army, Navy, Department of Defense, Air Force and Pentagon. In total he gained illegal entry to 97 machines, each time looking for information on flying saucers.
It did not take long for the US government to link the security breaches to McKinnon, and launch its pursuit. He was first arrested in 2002, before being released without charges due to a lack of evidence. A new arrest took place in 2005; this time he was released on probation, and stripped of his right to access the Internet. If he were to be extradited to the United States, he could face a sentence of up to 70 years in prison.