Feeds

Sweden to prosecute alleged Cisco, NASA hacker

Stakkato's abrupt transfer

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The prosecution of a Swedish man charged with breaching the computer networks of NASA and Cisco Systems and making off with sensitive source code will be transferred to Swedish authorities, US federal prosecutors said Monday.

Philip Gabriel Pettersson, aka "Stakkato," was indicted last May and accused of hacking into Cisco and stealing source code related to the company's widely used IOS, or Internetworking Operating System. He was just 16 at the time of the alleged theft.

Pettersson was also accused of breaching two NASA systems, one in May 2004 at the Ames Research Center and the other the following October at the Advanced Supercomputing Division.

The indictment charged Pettersson with five felonies, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco, where the case was filed, said Monday the case was being transferred to authorities in Sweden. They did not explain the reason for the change.

"When the intrusions were committed Mr. Pettersson was a juvenile," Swedish prosecutor Chatrine Rudstrom wrote in a letter agreeing to accept the case. "He has already been convicted of several computer intrusions during the same period of time as the intrusions to Cisco Company and NASA and he received a conditional sentence. Either Mr. Pettersson will be prosecuted, and a court will try the case, or the prosecutor will decide to forbear to prosecute."

Under Swedish law, prosecutors can decline to press charges if there is an earlier conviction that provided a sentence that is "sufficient for the new crimes as well," Rudstrom stated.

The 2004 theft of Cisco IOS created a stir in security circles because it was feared the disclosure could make it easier for criminals to trespass on private networks that used the company's routers. News of the misappropriation surfaced after reports someone had filled IRC channels with some 800MB of code involving Cisco IOS 12.3 and 12.3t.

Cisco officials have said that since then, they don't believe customer or partner information or financial systems were affected. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.