Feeds

Security guard admits he hacked hospital PCs

Ghost Exodus undone by YouTube vids

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

A former security guard has pleaded guilty to compromising more than a dozen computers that belonged to the hospital he was supposed to be protecting and posting some of his exploits on YouTube.

Jesse William McGraw, 25, called himself Ghost Exodus in videos such as this one as he wandered the halls of the North Central Medical Plaza in Dallas during the graveyard shift. He used his physical access to the facility's PCs to install bots so he could launch attacks on a rival hacking gang, prosecutors said. The compromised machines included a nurse's station computer for tracking patients and one that controlled the HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

Last summer, Federal prosecutors charged McGraw with planning a "massive" denial of service attack on the HVAC system. He allegedly scheduled it for the July 4 Independence Day holiday, when it wouldn't be uncommon for temperatures to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. He called it "Devil's Day."

According to court documents, hospital officials had experienced problems with their HVAC units and were perplexed that none of the system alarms had gone off as programmed. Around the same time, screenshots posted online showed the HVAC control windows for the hospital's surgery unit with a test alarm setting turned to "inactive," prosecutors said.

"You almost can't help it ya know," the poster, who called himself Ghost Exodus wrote, according to court documents. "It must be done!"

In the YouTube video, Ghost Exodus narrates his infiltration of a "very large corporate office" as the theme song to Mission Impossible plays in the background. He was an employee for a security company called United Protection Services and was also the leader of a hacking group called "Electronik Tribulation Army," prosecutors said.

He was apprehended by the FBI shortly after the screenshots and video came to the attention of a then 29-year-old PhD network security researcher at Mississippi State University. The researcher, Wesley McGrew, helped to identify Jesse McGraw by combining some of the postings with a help wanted ad posted on Craigslist.

Jesse McGraw pleaded guilty to two felony counts of transmitting a malicious code. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. Sentencing is scheduled for September 16. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.