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Hacker Selling Access to U.S. Supercomputers Faces 18 Months in Prison

13
Dec
2013

Hacker Was Selling Access to Supercomputers atLawrence Livermore Laboratory for $50,000

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced in Boston today to serve 18 months in prison for his role in a scheme to hack into computer networks and sell access to those networks.

According to the Department of Justice, Andrew James Miller, 23, of Devon, Pa., remotely hacked into several computers networks across the country and installed “backdoors” onto some compromised computers in order to gain root access.

After obtaining login credentials to the compromised computers, Miller sold access to the backdoors, as well as other login credentials, giving unauthorized people access various commercial, academic and government computer networks.

According to the Indictment, from 2008-2011, Miller and his co-conspirators remotely hacked into computer networks belonging to RNK Telecommunications, advertising agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky, Inc., the University of Massachusetts, the United States Department of Energy, and other organizations.

In one instance, Miller reportedly attempted to sell access for $50,000 to two supercomputers at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Oakland, California, that were part of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

Miller was originally arrested in June 2012 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and computer fraud on Aug. 26, 2013.

While Miller is facing jail time for his malicious online activities, he did get off somewhat easy, thanks to a plea deal. One of the computer intrusion counts carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and the other, involving intentional damage to a private computer, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

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Managing Editor, SecurityWeek.Previous Columns by Mike Lennon:Hacker Selling Access to U.S. Supercomputers Faces 18 Months in Prison Controversial Report Examines U.S. Intelligence BudgetMocana Receives Strategic Investment from GE VenturesResearchers Discover 64-bit Bit Version of ZeuS Trojan Enhanced with TorUS Government to Spend $6.1 Billion on IT Security in 2014

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