Feeds

Security guard admits he hacked hospital PCs

Ghost Exodus undone by YouTube vids

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.