Feeds

Sentencing date set in nuclear lab hack case

US.gov seeks £21,000 compo from UK teen

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

A sentencing date has been set for a UK teenager who admits breaking into the network of a US high-energy physics research lab.

Joseph McElroy, 19, from Woodford Green in East London, is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on February 2 for hacking into the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in June 2002.

McElroy pleaded guilty to hacking into 17 computers at the Illinois laboratory, offences under the UK's Computer Misuse Act, at a hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court last October.

The teenager's actions had serious consequences, even though his objective was only to use the lab's network to download films and music from the Net. The lab's computer systems had to be shut down for three days once the intrusion, which triggered a full-scale alert, was discovered. The Fermi Lab is run by the US Department of Energy.

It was quickly established that classified systems were not accessed, but the authorities pressed ahead with a prosecution.

US investigators tracked the intrusion to the UK before passing the case over to Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit; it in turn tracked McElroy to his home in east London.

The US government is seeking approximately £21,000 ($37,000) compensation from McElroy for the damage and disruption he caused. This penalty is higher than magistrates can impose, hence the decision to refer the case to Southwark Crown Court during a December 18 hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court.

McElroy, now a student at Exeter University, is free on bail pending sentencing. ®

Related Stories

Sentencing postponed in nuclear lab hack case
London police quiz suspected US DoE cracker

External Links

The US DoE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The atom-smashing lab at the eye of the storm.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.