Wednesday, 30 October 2013 02:14

U.S. v. Lauri Love: Hacking U.S. Government Computers

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Lauri Love, 28, of the United Kingdom, has been charged with hacking into the computer systems of several United States government agencies, including the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. space agency NASA, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The hackers also targeted systems they believed to be vulnerable, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Department of Energy.


Court documents state that Love and three co-conspirators infiltrated thousands of systems and left "back doors" that allowed them to enter the systems at a later time to steal data. According to the indictment, their intention was to "disrupt the operations and infrastructure of the United States government."

The indictment states that the hackers stole information about the demolition of military facilities from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers servers; competitive bid data from an Army Contracting Command database; and defense program budgeting data from the military’s Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office.

Love was arrested in the United Kingdom by the country's National Crime Agency and charged in the United Kingdom with violating the Computer Misuse Act. He was charged in the U.S. with accessing a U.S. government computer without permission and conspiracy. He is free on bail until February 2014.

According to the Indictment, Love, who used several online pseudonyms, is alleged to have used Internet chat rooms to discuss his hacking efforts and how he attempted to hide them. In October 2012, he discussed hacking a database of the Army Corps that may have provided 400,000 email addresses, according to the indictment. The indictment also mentions a July 2013 chat about hacking a NASA database, noting, "ahaha, we owning lots of nasa sites" and later in the month, saying, "This ... stuff is really sensitive. ... It's basically every piece of information you'd need to do full identity theft on any employee or contractor for the (agency),"

The hacked systems were located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The hacking included a service located in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, which held information about military personnel there.

Love faces up to five years in prison and a fine on each of the U.S. criminal counts, and according to prosecutors, faces additional charges in a federal court in Virginia, for other "unspecified intrusions.'


U.S. v. Love, Press Release, New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office

U.S. v. Lauri Love, Indictment

United Kingdom Computer Misuse Act 1990


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