recommended reading

18 Months in the Slammer for Energy Supercomputer Hacker

ptnphoto/Shutterstock.com

A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to one and a half years in jail for, among other crimes, selling access to Energy Department supercomputers at an asking price of $50,000, the FBI announced on Thursday.

Login data sold by Andrew James Miller and accomplices let unauthorized people break into a number of corporate, academic and government computer networks, according to authorities. 

Miller attempted to sell an undercover FBI agent access, for tens of thousands of dollars, to two supercomputers that are part of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in Oakland, Calif., a division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The center's employees conduct basic scientific research in fields such as climate change, high energy physics and protein structures, according to the facility's website

Miller had obtained network access codes sometimes by remotely installing "backdoors" that provided him with universal entry to accounts, called "administrator" privileges. He and his accomplices then sold access to the backdoors and other login data. 

Miller -- who was born in 1989, according to court documents -- had pled guilty to conspiracy and computer fraud in August.  He could have faced up to 15 years in prison. Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years, one of the computer intrusion counts allows for up to five years, and another – involving intentional damage to a private computer –carries a potential10-year sentence.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously linked the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The center is a division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

(Image via ptnphoto/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    View
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.