A man in the United Kingdom was arrested and charged this week with hacking into several federal computer systems, including the US Army, EPA, NASA and several other agencies. These illegal activities cost the federal government millions of dollars.
Lauri Love, 28, who is from Stradishall, UK, and several partners stole confidential information about the employees of the government, including people who are serving in the US military. They allegedly hacked into US government networks and left back doors where they could easily go back in and steal data later.
Authorities in the UK also noted that Love is being charged under a law in the UK that allows people to be put under arrest for initiating hacking attacks from the UK on computers that are located anywhere else. He is out on bail until February 2014.
A relative who answered the phone for the Loves in Stradishall, England stated that the family will not talk to reporters. She noted that the family has nothing to say to the AP or any reporters.
The US government has stated that the purpose of the attacks was to disrupt the operation of the US government. The indictment, which is in New Jersey, has not charged him with selling the information or trying to gain financially.
Love was put under arrest at his house, which is 70 miles north of London. He stands accused of working with several conspirators in Australia, and one who lives in Sweden. None of those people have been charged at this time. Their names have not been released yet.
The federal indictment includes some IM messages that showed that Love seemed to be proud of what he was doing. He stated in a text message that he and his partners ‘owned’ many NASA sites, and that the data they had accessed was highly sensitive.
Love is being charged in the state of New Jersey because he used a Parsippany server. He also is facing several federal charges in Virginia.
The indictment states that Love was a highly sophisticated hacker who worked on getting access to large computer networks run by large entities, most of which are government agencies. He collected a great deal of confidential information, and then took the data from the networks. Love also is alleged to have used the online names ‘nsh,’ ‘route’ and ‘peace’ to plot more hacking attacks from his house.
It is thought that he stole the records of 5000 servicemen and women, and thousands of government employees’ data as well.
Love is facing as much as 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted, and he may have to pay a fine of $250,000.
The man is believed to have used concealed online chats to plan his cyber attacks. The group then would put hidden back doors into the networks. Love is alleged to have told one conspirator that they might be able to steal highly confidential information.