NASA hacker won't be extradited to U.S. due to Asperger'sBy Rick Burgess 21 comments
U.K. citizen Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the U.S. for his suspected role in the intrusion of sensitive government computers, namely those of NASA, the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. British officials have refused to send McKinnon abroad due to concerns of his possible suicide -- a fate deemed certain based on evaulations of McKinnon who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and "depressive illness".
Asperger's Syndrome is considered a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder -- essentially a mild form of autism that allows for self-sufficiency albeit with certain behavioral conditions and social limitations.
McKinnon would almost certainly face life in American prison (60 years is the estimate), a sentence which U.K. officials believe will force McKinnon to take matters into his own hands. For the U.K., this has become a matter of human rights.
Some of McKinnon's alleged cybercrimes are quite intriguing from the perspective of security, especially considering his deeds were performed via a dial-up connection across the pond.
If the aging list of charges are to be believed, McKinnon effectively crippled the entire U.S. Army's Military District of Washington network -- a feat lasting 24 hours and affecting more than 2000 computers across VA, MA and NY. He also gained access to a U.S. Army server responsible for managing 2,455 accounts, causing the associated computers to reboot and become inoperable. These acts (and more) were performed about a decade ago.
"Using his home computer the appellant, through the internet, identified US Government network computers with an open Microsoft Windows connection and from those extracted the identities of certain administrative accounts and associated passwords. Having gained access to those accounts he installed unauthorised remote access and administrative software called "remotely anywhere" that enabled him to access and alter data upon the American computers at any time and without detection..."
"Having gained access to these computers the appellant deleted data from them including critical operating system files from nine computers, the deletion of which shut down the entire US Army's Military District of Washington network of over 2000 computers for 24 hours, significantly disrupting Governmental functions; 2,455 user accounts on a US Army computer that controlled access to an Army computer network, causing these computers to reboot and become inoperable; and logs from computers at US Naval Weapons Station Earle, one of which was used for monitoring the identity, location, physical condition, staffing and battle readiness of Navy ships, deletion of these files rendering the Base's entire network of over 300 computers inoperable at a critical time immediately following 11 September 2001"
By the Pentagon's own estimate, McKinnon cost the government about $700,000 in damages.
In 2006, McKinnon told Wired magazine that he was looking for evidence of UFO and zero-point energy cover ups. He claims that he found photographic evidence of UFOs, but couldn't download the huge unprocessed files over his meager dial-up connection.
They had huge, high-resolution images stored in their picture files. They had filtered and unfiltered, or processed and unprocessed, files.
My dialup 56K connection was very slow trying to download one of these picture files. As this was happening, I had remote control of their desktop, and by adjusting it to 4-bit color and low screen resolution, I was able to briefly see one of these pictures. It was a silvery, cigar-shaped object with geodesic spheres on either side.