Gary McKinnon, the extra-terrestrial-seeking Nasa hacker who was apprehended last month, has explained how he managed to hack into Nasa’s computers, along with those of several other government agencies, and what he found there.
According to the 39-year old Londoner, he simply searched for senior network administrators who didn’t use passwords.
“You get on to easy networks, like Support and Logistics, in order to exploit the trust relationship that military departments have between each other, and once you get on to an easy thing, you find out what networks they trust and then you hop and hop and hop, and eventually you think, ‘That looks a bit more secretive’,” said McKinnon, in an interview this week with The Guardian.
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And apparently he was not the only one. According to McKinnon, he had company on those systems in the form of hackers from all around the globe.
“Once you’re on the network, you can do a command called NetStat – Network Status – and it lists all the connections to that machine. There were hackers from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Thailand… every night for the entire five to seven years I was doing this.”
Did you catch that? Five to seven years he was doing this. Roaming around government computers, with classified information – and hackers from around the world.
McKinnon said that he was looking for evidence of an extra-terrestrial mission, and he claims to have found it once he breached the network belonging to the United States Space Command.
Explained McKinnon, “I found a list of officers’ names under the heading ‘Non-Terrestrial Officers’… What I think it means is not earth-based. I found a list of ‘fleet-to-fleet transfers’ and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren’t US Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet.”
Unfortunately, acknowledges McKinnon, he doesn’t remember very much about that particular project which he discovered, because he had been “smoking a lot of dope at the time”.
Whew! Thank goodness that he wasn’t instant messaging instead, as instant messaging is more damaging to your IQ than smoking dope. Not, perhaps, that it would have made any difference in this case.
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