Accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon's final appeal against extradition edged forward on Tuesday after judges defined the two points that might merit consideration by the Law Lords. The Administrative Court (one of the High Courts) certified two questions of being of public importance in the McKinnon case. The first point ise …
"McKinnon caused an estimated $700,000 worth of damage"
Please qualify that statement by telling us who it was estimated by.
I suspect that's a fictitious figure from the US government, which is being used in order to back up its ridiculous extradition request.
Re: "McKinnon caused an estimated $700,000 worth of damage"
Yet the UK would seek the same of a US citizen accused of hacking MoD computers.
I'm not sure where the $700K comes from and that will have to be proved in court. The facts are that he has admitted to doing it.
the cost to secure
In the US it's customary, although ludicrous, to consider the cost of having a security audit and locking down the system after the break-in damages.
So if you secure it up front, it's a cost of operation. If you fail to secure it up front and pay the rat bastards who allowed the attacker in more money to fix what wasn't secure before, that's damages. If you pay a third-party consultant to come in and secure it, you can drive up the "damages" even more.
See, I said it was ludicrous. I'm a Yank and I have always thought it was stupid. I can only imagine how stupid the idea sounds across the pond, where the laws on computer crimes probably make much more sense.
I can see damages being assessed if he crashed systems, deleted data, corrupted data, or stole credit card numbers/identity information and used or sold them. But in the real world, no one gets assessed damages for walking across the corner of a lawn unless they kill grass or flowers. This type of trespassing is not very much different. If a gate was unlocked, it's not causing damage to open it and walk through, is it?
Let's be honest here - even if the UK caught a US hacker in the MoD systems, and even if he was ID, and even if the Govt grew the brass ones to try and prosecute him, does anyone really believe that any extradition attempt would end in anything but a great big "up yours"?
McKinnon is being used as part of an internal Witch Hunt in the US to aid their internal problem diverting War on Terror (tm). Yes, he was a muppet and did something wrong but since when was threatening (and I am sorry, "Plead guilty, cop the sentence or we're really going to shaft you" is a threat in my book) required if you really believed he was a deadly threat? Since when was it legal or right?
Oh, sorry, I forgot.... this is the Uk and US Govt, since when was legality ever a concern.
Mr Grumpy now needs his coffee.....
Don't forget Joseph Popp was extradited from the US to the UK after distributing the AIDS Trojan.
Of course, since this was before the Computer Misuse Act 1990 he was extradited on a charge of blackmail. Nevertheless, it was an attack on computer systems here in the UK. And he was extradited. Irritatingly he pulled a "Saunders" and avoided trial by virtue of his apparent mental illness.
re : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/26/mckinnon_infosec/
Exactly the point. By an absolutely extraordinary coincidence, the damages figures happen to be exactly the amount they need to be to justify an extradition attempt.
Nothing suspicious there then...
As for "Yet the UK would seek the same of a US citizen accused of hacking MoD computers."
They might do (though I doubt it), but I guarantee the US Govt. would simply give the UK the finger. The extradition treaty between the two is completely one-sided. The US Govt. has not even ratified it, yet the UK is abiding by it.
That's the only criminal thing going on here.
McKinnon's Honey Pot
Was this really hacking into the US military secrests? Reading an article about McKinnon's exploits some months back - pictures of UFOs and non-military interenet connections from around the world - it seemed more likely that he didn't realise that he'd stumbled into a honey pot.