“A 15-year-old computer hacker caused a 21-day shutdown of NASA computers that support the international space station, and invaded a Pentagon weapons computer system to intercept 3,300 e-mails, steal passwords and cruise around like an employee.
The boy, known on the Internet as “c0mrade,” pleaded guilty today to juvenile delinquency in a sealed federal case.
Six Months in Jail
He will serve six months in a state detention facility.
“Breaking into someone else’s property, whether it’s a robbery or a computer intrusion, is a serious crime,” said Attorney General Janet Reno. The prosecution “shows that we take computer intrusion seriously and are working with our law enforcement agencies to aggressively fight this problem.”
Chris Rouland, who monitors computer attacks for Internet Security Systems Inc. in Atlanta, said the unusual part of the case was that the boy was caught, not that he got where he did.
The boy’s identity was withheld because he’s a juvenile.
Stole Software, E-Mails
Now 16, he admitted accessing 13 computers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for two days in June 1999 and downloading $1.7 million worth of NASA proprietary software that supports the space station’s environment, including temperature and humidity.
NASA responded by shutting down the computers for 21 days to determine the extent of the attack at a cost of $41,000 in contractor labor and replaced equipment.”