British Hacker To Be Extradited To U.S.

British computer hacker [Gary McKinnon] lost his final appeal to block his extradition to the U.S. He stands accused of hacking into almost 100 U.S. military and NASA computers from his girlfriend’s aunt’s house in London over a four year period by the U.S. government. If convicted of the crimes in a U.S. court, he could face up to 70 years imprisonment. [Gary McKinnon] freely admitted to hacking into the computers, but claimed that he did it out of curiosity, not out of malice or any terroristic aims. He was looking for information on UFOs. The U.S. government claimed that in addition to hacking into the computers, he also stole 950 passwords and erased important files. [McKinnon’s] next move will be to appeal to the European Court, and if unsuccessful, he will have no other option but to stand trial in the U.S. court system.

26 thoughts on “British Hacker To Be Extradited To U.S.

  1. I think this guy is in some serious shit. Whether it was out of malice or not is irrelevant. The fact is he hacked into US computers. The US is going to be looking to make an example out of this guy. I feel kind of bad for him.

  2. Tony, I’m assuming that you haven’t read the linked article or any others about this topic. It is worth noting that the man in question used regular Windows Remote Desktop to access these machines and that he got in because of weak passwords. I mean like “password”, “administrator” and (God forbid) blank passwords. In addition, I don’t think the US government has shown that he cost them any damages beyond those accrued by having to fix their already lacking security. That’s like claiming you owe me damages because I had to buy locks for my unsecured home.

  3. it might be helpful to read Kevin poulsen’s article in wired before getting too wet for this loser:

    “McKinnon is a cause célèbre in Britain. Playing on stereotypes, he’s persuaded the more gullible sectors of the British press that American spooks want to ship him to Guantanamo, or put him in prison for 60 years. But McKinnon is a petulant child who refused even the mildest sanctions for crimes that he’s largely admitted conducting.”

  4. I like this guy’s defense “No your honor, I was just looking for info on martians”
    *dons aluminum hat and straightjacket*

    I feel no sympathy for this man whatsoever.

  5. Yeah, i agree, he should have been more careful.

    Oh wait.. am i on Digg? No, Reddit? no… oh yes, this is HackADay…… And this is Indeed not a hack… I think i am going to start commenting every time something is posted that I do not consider a Hack.. Unless someone has a petition i do not know about.

  6. It would be hilarious if hackaday just shut down, and never said why. Then when people send emails wondering why they left without a message the response would be “It wasn’t a hack, therefore no one would care.”

    tl;dr –> qq

  7. This is disgraceful. He committed the crime on british soil so should be tried by a british court.
    Britain should never have signed up to such an outrageous and unfair extradition treaty.
    All the wasted resources on trying to catch a ufo hunter, and there’s hundreds of hacker/crackers in russia and china, so much for protecting your own.
    and yes, i am british

  8. Quite how Gary McKinnon is to blame for this I’ll never know. Apparently he used Microsoft Remote Desktop and default passwords such as “administrator”, “”, and “password”.

    If your system isn’t secure to start with, how can you complain that you have been compromised? Especially if you are a part of the worlds most secretive organization. To me that is the same as starting up a website, letting google cache it, and then complaining that people are looking at it.

    They claim he caused millions of dollars of damage, when in fact, this money is related to securing a system that was already insecure, not recollection of data due to Mr McKinnon’s actions.


  9. I don’t actually care wether everything on hackaday is a hack or not. I keep coming back because there are interesting things to read and interesting things they alert me too… Like the esquire cover, or the zeiss cinemizer thing at engadget… Though the latter was lame because you needed an account there to do it and they wouldn’t let me post when I registered an account.

    Anyways, I went to the website and applied to be a normal lead user and they accepted me and sent me one without even needing a credit card number.

    I really want a hackable e-ink thingy.

  10. @12: that’s really not how it works. If I stand just across the border in France and lob a molotov cocktail into a storefront in Spain, haven’t I committed a crime in Spain, even though I didn’t actually enter the country? Likewise, he “intruded” into America even though he didn’t actually set foot into the country. The laws aren’t new, either — if you run a telephone (or even telegraph!) scam out of Country A, but defraud victims in Country B, it’s always been common practice to consider the crime to have occurred in Country B. That applies to smaller boundaries (states/counties) as well.

  11. I don’t feel sorry for him, and I don’t think it’s a matter of “he should have been more careful” — He should have just not been a complete idiot, and he deserves every year he gets. In our current situation facing terrorism from abroad, this moron should have known better, and he should consider himself lucky that they don’t put him in front of a firing squad.

    Perhaps he should’ve aimed his “curiousity” towards his girlfriends body, instead of US Government systems. Needless to say, it’s too late for any play with his girlfriend, especially when he’s across the Atlantic! Haha! I’ll be tappin’ it now!

  12. It’s this kind of thing that turned me to the side of anti-globalists, there comes a point that you just have to admit that they are right, justice in this world is BS and everything is controlled by some EXTREMELY distasteful dodgy/insane types who should not run things but be themselves in some cell, possibly padded, and be under review before anybody else.
    Also it’s abundantly clear foreigners (to the US) can not expect to be assured justice, or even what passes as such, in america, and nobody should be extradited to that place for any reason.

  13. 1) There was a hack involved, I think it desrves to be covered. (You may say it wasn’t, but he had to find the IPs somehow.)

    2) He is screwed, big time.

    3) The US government (my government), is going to sodomize him and tape electrodes to his balls as soon as he steps off the plane.

    4) @18, you are right sir. I don’t understand how any foreign government can stand the thought of extraditing one of its denizens to this godforsaken land. (Except this guy did screw up big time in a really stupid way. Remote Desktop? Are you asking for the taser to the sac?)

  14. Has anyone thought about his motivation and drive to hack in to the computers? Therein lies the solution, not in dealing with the aftermath..

    He’s got a real passion for what he is doing, and from his reported actions, he’s living in a different reality.

    Its hard to understand him, but even harder if you dont try to understand him from his own perspective!

    Anyway, back to the articles for me – lots of goodies on this site!! :)

  15. Some of you guys need a little lesson on common law.


    Nobody was injured.


    No property was taken.

    Once, when America was free, these were important parts of common law. If there was no injury or theft, it was not a crime.

    So, if you think this is a crime warranting 70 years in prison, then check your house: got any pictures of relatives who fought in American wars? Who in the family tree fought in Europe, Phillipines, Asia?

    They get wounded or killed?

    Well then, it was for nothing. For nothing because the United States is now the new Nazi Regime. Because that is the mark of dictatorship, when people are hauled off to prison for “crimes” where nobody was injured. He did the US a favor by showing how stupid and lazy government workers are.

    But no, you people want to see him hauled off to prison. You probably stay home on Saturday night and watch episodes of Cops, relishing in someone else getting busted for things you would do if you were not afraid. Spend all week clamoring for police state powers, then hide in your house fearing becoming a victim of the same crap you clamor for. Nice.

    So you spend life as a slave, loving your slavery, and then empowering the state because you defeated people need it to feed your blackened little souls.

    Germany in the 1930s was full of such darkness. How many of you will get what you deserve when everything you sell out your soul for, like the Germans did, will be everything that is gone when all is said and done?

  16. #22-
    Nobody was injured.
    No property was taken.

    That’s your criteria? When some psycho burns down
    your house are you going to try to understand him?
    He didn’t injure anyone and he didn’t take all your
    worldly possessions, he just burned them.

    If the topic is his guilt and how he might be sentenced
    if found guilty, will you change the subject to how
    it’s your fault you didn’t have more security? after
    all, he didn’t use anything more high-tech than
    a cup of petrol and a match. Why weren’t you better
    protected? too ‘stupid and lazy’?

    I’m not going to bother much with your delusions that america is nazi germany. do you have any understanding of the atrocities committed under that regime? as if the first thing people think of when someone says ‘nazi’ is a public trial by a jury of one’s peers after having been offered a sweet plea bargain.

    he is a script kiddy who pressed a few buttons to automate sending ‘administrator’ and ‘password’ over the internet. he corrupted computer systems of a country’s national defence and left messages saying he’ll do more damage. He got caught and will go to trial. he will not be shot in the back of the head nor will he be sentenced to 70 years in prison.

  17. @22 – yes property was taken. even though not on “hard copys” he seen/read information. he knows passwords, and who says that he was really looking for ufo’s? him, the criminal, not the kind of person to take seriously. what says he left “key” traces that he was looking for ufo’s to cover up something else? and what says that he didnt steal information that the government wont admit existed. like safty deposit boxes, if they get robbed, who would want to tell what secret things they stole? he wont live long

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