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14 March 2006

Bungling Gary

Location : Reading, England.

Articles on internet security are sometimes quite interesting but I have never really posted about it before. While surfing through some websites, I came across a Scottish bloke born in Glasgow by the name of Gary McKinnon. This dude has been accused of performing the 'biggest military computer hack of all time', cracking into the systems of the Pentagon and Nasa. Hackers have been known as silent, intelligent criminals that lead shadowy lifestyles. Gary is facing extradition to the USA and most of the times, you don't normally get to hear their side of the story because the majority of people don't understand their crime. Some time last year, he made a one to one interview with a UK newspaper, the Guardian. While most computer enthusiasts come across to me as very competitive and what Google's Eric Schmidt termed as techno arrogance, in this interview, Gary didn't seem to be anything like that. He claims to have commited the offence out of curiosity while (illegally)searching for another existence besides ours - UFOs! Gary also relates how he tried to make a failed veiled threat to the Pentagon after being threatening to expose what he found on their systems which didn't work. =) It seems like he is one of those funny characters you would see on screen, like a bungling burglar. He used rudimentary tools to crack into the world's most secured, sophisticated military computer network system - a port scanner that is widely available over the internet, he didn't even bother to conceal his IP address or use false identities to cover his tracks! Very much like a novice and yet he's been tagged by the USA as the "world's biggest hacker of military networks". Nevertheless, he does say he's been to places in cyberworld where he shouldn't really be, he admits he screwed up and he is now scared of facing possibly 70 years in an American jail being forced to pick that soap up everyday. Read his rather funny interview. Unlike make-believe Hollywood movies, this one doesn't seem to be ending happily ever after. It's refreshing to see someone still cheerful despite facing the end of his life as a free man. If I was Gary, I would've crapped in my pants a long time ago. Maybe he IS crapping in his pants, cheerfully.

Coincidently, I came across a funny quote recently, about friends and jail :-

"A good friend will come bail you out of jail but a true friend will be sitting next to you in jail saying...Damn, we f***ed up."

Posted by Ripcord at March 14, 2006 01:30 AM


love the quote...

Posted by: red... at March 14, 2006 05:51 AM

heard of the variation of it.."a good friend will bail you outta jail, but a true friend will help you bury the bodies!"..hehe!

Posted by: ying at March 14, 2006 07:45 AM

I found "a good friend will bail you out, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying 'that was awesome!'"
Good friends can help, but it's only true friends who can understand...

Posted by: someone else at March 14, 2006 07:54 AM

ying, that was morbid! =)

Posted by: Ripcord at March 14, 2006 11:46 AM

They should hire him to help them create a more secure system.

Oh, and that is a good quote ;D

Posted by: Aurora at March 14, 2006 05:25 PM

Ok so that guy didn't seem to do much if any harm to the data/systems... actually the Pentegon and Nasa should be kinda grateful - if he hadn't have shown them how insecure their systems were, it may have been someone who DID want to do harm etc. In fact, how do they know he was the first?! 70 years in prison is just rediculous. He clearly didn't intend to cause a war... *shrug*
Btw yeah heard that quote before and love it hehe. So true :) x

Posted by: Joanna at March 19, 2006 03:20 AM

joanna : according to the interview, gary claims there were about 70 other hackers in the network at the same time as him!

Posted by: Ripcord at March 19, 2006 07:03 AM

yea sup edwin
just been checking out the site pretty awesome - and heavy quote by the way!

Posted by: jon ranatunga at March 19, 2006 07:40 PM

jon : what kinda email address did you submit? it got sent back...anyway, glad to see u here mate! hope all's been cool on your side. i called u some time ago but i got your mom.

Posted by: Ripcord at March 22, 2006 01:24 AM