Gary McKinnon fights extradition

By Derek Sooman on
The man accused of the world's biggest hack is fighting extradition. Back in June Gary McKinnon, 39, of Wood Green, north London was released on bail by magistrates on charges of cracking into US military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002. The systems he was accused of breaking into included NASA, the US Army, US Navy, Department of Defence, the US Air Force and the Pentagon. Earlier this month, McKinnon spoke out about his illegal hacking activities, highlighting poor security and simple curiosity as the reasons why he broke into the many computer systems he is claimed to have penetrated. His extradition hearing has been adjourned until October 18 so that his lawyers can arrange a defence.

McKinnon claims the damage he caused was minimal but U.S. authorities indicate costs of up to 370,000. It is claimed McKinnon 'owned' computers belonging to the army, navy, airforce, Nasa and the U.S. Department of Defense.

If convicted McKinnon could face up to 70 years in jail. Acting on behalf of the U.S. government Mark Summers claimed that McKinnon acted from his own computer in London and attempted to influence U.S. government policy by sending intimidating and coercive messages.

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