Gary Mckinnon: A hacker who broke into the U.S.A. defense system
Written By Tanuj Sarva
Tanuj Sarva aka TJ is an entrepreneur and passionate writer. He loves reading books and watching documentaries. He explores various topics and has an ever-learning mindset. Read his latest blogs on this website which he owns Iynk.in | Information You Need to Know
Gary Mckinnon a computer hacker who broke into the U.S.A. defense system and had actually admitted his crime. In today’s article, we’ll discuss Gary Mckinnon from past till present.
Who is Gary Mckinnon?
Gary Mckinnon is a Scottish guy, who was born on 10 February 1966. So basically, he was a hacker who was accused in 2002 of committing the “biggest military computer hack of all time“.
“Hacking” well I don’t know about you but this term sounds fascinating to me. So, hacker Gary Mckinnon had actually broke into the U.S. military defense system. The real purpose of hacking was to get all the confidential details about the operations which are being conducted by the U.S. Officials and obviously in an illegal way, which is surely punishable. And to be more specific he was really curious to find details about “UFOs, free energy and secret government” another thing about him that he occasionally left comments which said, “your security is cr*p”. And this made the US government embarrassed of the inadequate security employed by the US Government agencies. After that Government Authorities wanted McKinnon extradited to the USA to face up to 70 years in jail.
There have been a number of court hearings in the UK on this extradition; McKinnon has lost them all. But ultimately on 16 October 2012, after a series of legal proceedings in Britain,Home SecretaryTheresa May withdrew her extradition order to the United States.
The other name of him was “Solo” which he used to hack into computers protecting his real identity. He was accused of hacking into 97 united states military computers and even NASA computers over the period of 13-month during February 2001 and March 2002, at his girlfriend’s aunt’s house in London.
The US authorities stated he deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the United States Army’s Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours. McKinnon also posted a notice on the military’s website: “Your security is crap”. After theSeptember 11 attacks in 2001, he deleted weapons logs at theEarleNaval Weapons Station, rendering its network of 300 computers inoperable and paralyzing munitions supply deliveries for the US Navy‘s Atlantic Fleet. McKinnon was also accused of copying data, account files and passwords onto his own computer. US authorities stated the cost of tracking and correcting the problems he caused was over $700,000.
While not admitting that it constituted evidence of destruction, McKinnon did admit leaving a threat on one computer:
US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days … It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year … I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels …
US authorities stated that McKinnon was trying to downplay his own actions. A senior military officer at the Pentagon told The Sunday Telegraph:
US policy is to fight these attacks as strongly as possible. As a result of Mr McKinnon’s actions, we suffered serious damage. This was not some harmless incident. He did very serious and deliberate damage to military and Nasa computers and left silly and anti-America messages. All the evidence was that someone was staging a very serious attack on US computer systems.
Gary Mckinnon Findings?
So, what did Gary McKinnon find? some of the popular conspiracy theories about Gary Mckinnon and also he admitted some of them were
McKinnon has admitted in many public statements that he obtained unauthorized access to computer systems in the United States including those mentioned in the United States indictment. He states his motivation, drawn from a statement made before the Washington Press Club on 9 May 2001 by “The Disclosure Project“, was to find evidence ofUFOs, antigravitytechnology, and the suppression of “free energy”, all of which he states to have proven through his actions. and Gary McKinnon alien proofs finding too (just a conspiracy theory).
In an interview televised on theBBC‘s Click program, McKinnon stated that he was able to get into the military’s networks simply by using a Perl script that searched for blank passwords; in other words, his report suggests that there were computers on these networks with the default passwords active.
In his interview with the BBC, he also stated of “The Disclosure Project” that “they are some very credible, relied-upon people, all saying yes, there is UFO technology, there’s anti-gravity, there’s free energy, and it’s extraterrestrial in origin and [they’ve] captured spacecraft and reverse engineered it.” He said he investigated a NASA photographic expert’s claim that at theJohnsonSpace Center‘s Building 8, images were regularly cleaned of evidence of UFO craft, and confirmed this, comparing the raw originals with the “processed” images. He stated to have viewed a detailed image of “something not man-made” and “cigar-shaped” floating above the northern hemisphere, and assuming his viewing would be undisrupted owing to the hour, he did not think of capturing the image because he was “bedazzled”, and therefore did not think of securing it with the screen capture function in the software at the point when his connection was interrupted.
Gary Mckinnon now?
Here we are going to talk about Gary Mckinnon and his life and how is he now.
He was arrested in March 2002 for the crime of unauthorized access, which at that time carried a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment. The American and British authorities delayed any criminal proceedings seemingly so that they had time to bring in the US-UK extradition treaty, which seemed almost tailor-made for his case and others like it. This treaty was drawn up (in American spelling …) in 2003, but not ratified by the US until 2006. Despite this, some people (including the NatWest Three) were extradited under it prior to ratification.
He was told there was no evidence of the alleged damage, and yet he still had to fight against these accusations. When a case like that goes on for years it wears him down more and more on a daily basis. His life was on hold, as I sank ever deeper into depression. Then, one day in 2008, things started to change.
After being interviewed on ITV, quite a few people watching – including the woman who had Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autistic spectrum. This view tallied with many mental health professionals who were watching and took the time to communicate their feelings to his solicitors.
People had always commented that he was odd, at school and at work, but no one ever suggested he might have a condition that needed treatment. He was completely averse to being diagnosed for Asperger’s since he was already extremely low-spirited and really didn’t want psychologists poking around in his mind. Eventually, he gave in and was diagnosed by several of the top people in the field, including Simon Baron-Cohen, who all agreed that he had Asperger’s and that this made me vulnerable.
He became hopeless thinking that one way or the other his life would soon be at an end. But then the Human Rights Act aspect was raised. Was it compatible with his human rights as a vulnerable adult to be thrown into a hostile foreign jail with no evidence of his crimes? They hadn’t had any luck with previous home secretaries – until Theresa May.
A lot happened between the Asperger’s diagnosis in 2008 and his final victory in 2012 – more judicial reviews, appeals to the supreme court, presidents and prime ministers discussing his case on television – but it was all going on far away from him. He felt distanced from everything. In 2012, May courageously and compassionately agreed that extradition to the US was incompatible with my human rights, and blocked the extradition on those grounds. Where extradition legislation failed, the Human Rights Act delivered.
Some in the media have spoken out against the act, providing extreme examples of how it can be misused in an attempt to increase negative feelings towards it, but what we have to remember is this – human rights don’t change. Slavery and forced labor will always be wrongs; freedom of thought, belief and religion will always be rights.