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Supercomputer hacker coughs to flogging DoE logins to FBI agent

Guilty plea means gov access-flogger may only swallow 18 months' porridge

Website security in corporate America

The US hacker caught after trying to sell Department of Energy supercomputer logins to an undercover FBI agent has pleaded guilty in a deal that could see him go to jail for up to 18 months.

The 24-year-old hacker, Pennsylvania man Andrew James Miller, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and computer fraud to cut his potential sentence down from 15 years in prison.

According to court filings, Miller said he had accessed a number of corporate and government systems, including ones at American Express and Google, by hacking employee computers and stealing their logins.

He started out peddling lists of usernames and passwords to the undercover agent for payments of between $500 and $1,000 and then tried to get $50,000 for access to a supercomputer at the DoE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Centre, according to court transcripts.

Miller, whose handle was "Green", was part of the hacker group Underground Intelligence Agency (UIA). According to the unsealed indictment, he was set up with the undercover Fed after the FBI turned fellow member Robert "Intel" Burns into a witness in 2010.

Following his jail time, Miller will be on supervised release for three years and is also required to pay a fine and restitution to victims, which has yet to be calculated by the court. His sentencing is scheduled for 19 November. ®

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