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back to article Supercomputer hacker coughs to flogging DoE logins to FBI agent

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 …

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Facepalm

Definition!

That defines what stupidity is.

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Meh

Re: Definition!

Maybe, but I'll withhold judgement to see how many hundreds of thousands of impossible to pay back dollars the court fines him.

Making fines a metric by which prosecutors performance is judged is pretty stupid. They ask for, and get, ridiculous judgements, knowing they'll never be paid, but they get to add the total value to their performance scorecard and the State gets to count the payments as incoming revenue. Great for promotions and political capital but companies get in trouble for double booking sales revenue like that.

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Re: Definition!

Thumbs up for this. Yes, he should be made to pay damages, but no more than what it cost for the companies to clean up his mess. The prison term is the punitive part of his sentence.

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Unhappy

Re: Definition!

There's also the "customer lock-in" component. You remain on probation until your fines are paid. That means finding a decent job is going to be difficult, as your employer has to submit regular paperwork and it's a pain in their ass. You also have to pay your probation officer for each visit (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and pay for drug and alcohol tests anytime they feel like giving you one. You can't even drink your sorrows away while you're on probation.

So not only are the finances of fines screwed up, they've found a way to extend the punitive portion of your sentence until the end of your life in some cases. Which I guess makes sense as the US justice system no longer recognizes rehabilitation except, oddly enough, in cases of violence. Once a criminal always a criminal here. It really isn't the way the system was intended to work.

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Re: Definition!

I am actually shocked, I suppose he will also lose the right to vote?

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Silver badge

Re: Definition!

Voting disenfranchisement for felons varies by State and offense. There is no Federal regulation for felon or incarcerated voting.

To the best of my knowledge though all 50 States do prohibit voting for felons convicted of voting fraud, perverting the course of justice, certain types of violent offenses, treason and aiding the enemy. The rest is a toss up and will depend on the State in which you are incarcerated.

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Bronze badge

Re: Definition!

". You also have to pay your probation officer for each visit (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and pay for drug and alcohol tests anytime they feel like giving you one."

Don't know were you live , but that is not true in California.

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Re: Definition!

Maryland allows prisoners to vote, Any felony and certain violent, domestic, drug misdemeanors you lose the right to own guns. Most sates you lose the right to vote if you are convicted of a felony. There are a few that restore you rights after you get out of jail or finish your parole/probation.

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Black Helicopters

Tsk, Tsk, Tut. Tsk...

Is there no honor among Hackers anymore, all do they all roll

over on each other and their 'collectives' at the drop of an FBI

Baseball hat.

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Silver badge

Re: Tsk, Tsk, Tut. Tsk...

Did you mean baseball bat?

Honor amongst criminals only exists if it is enforced with violence. Unaffiliated criminals have never had a lot going on in the honor department. The faceless, 'virtual' nature of computerized crime pretty much guarantee a mob style power structure, and any accompanying 'honor' will never develop outside any real Mafioso's already engaged in it.

Additionally, I'm pretty sure most computer criminals are simply too lazy and agoraphobic to go outside and beat someone into shape.

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Re: Tsk, Tsk, Tut. Tsk...

I think it should reinforce that black hatters should be anon at all cost. There will always be the greedy ones and the ones that are out for a name for themselves (though their name is just a nick, big bloody deal). So long as they never give up their details (either willingly or by not taking appropriate steps - insert 7 proxy statement here) they can still belong to some swanky group of lowlifes without too much risk.

For every black hatter caught by big naming themselves or going after some coin, I'm sure there are at least that many that are doing it quietly behind a keyboard purely for self interest. Doesn't make any of it right mind you, though it still happens.

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Silver badge

You are correct, not just for Black Hats but for any self respecting criminal. Making a name for yourself among people of questionable repute isn't a high bar to set for oneself.

The proper criminal would segue into a legitimate lifestyle, greatly facilitated by the fruits of their exploits, with nary a mention of previous activities. Possibly even making himself immune from any future prosecution in the process. It has been done before.

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Anonymous Coward

Not fair

15 years in the slammer and a few million dollar fine is appropriate punishment.

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