Media Hit: ZOT's BK DeLong in

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From: Sally Khudairi (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 16:44:50 PST

Our very own BK DeLong, Research Lead
and master sleuth, gets some ink:

"Keep the good work" ;-)


Hacker faces charges in NASA and Interior cases

 By Martin Finucane, Associated Press, 2/23/2000 19:09

 BOSTON (AP) Federal authorities charged a college student Wednesday with
breaking into government
 and military computers, including systems run by NASA, the Defense
Department and the Interior

 The U.S. attorney's office accused Ikenna Iffih, 28, a student at
Northeastern University who lives in
 Boston, in a three-count criminal information, or statement of charges.

 Iffih's attorney, Charles McGinty, didn't immediately return a message
seeking comment. If convicted,
 Iffih faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
He has an unlisted phone
 number and he could not be reached for

 Iffih had been charged in August in Seattle, but the case has been expanded
and moved to Boston.

 ''All in all, the defendant used his home computer to leave a trail of
cybercrime from coast to coast,''
 U.S. Attorney Donald Stern said in a statement.

 Iffih was charged with gaining access in April 1999 to a Defense Logistics
Agency computer located in
 Columbus, Ohio, then accessing the computer used by Zebra Marketing Online
Services, an Internet
 service provider located in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

 Then in May 1999, Iffih allegedly accessed a NASA computer located at the
Goddard Space Flight
 Center in Greenbelt, Md. Using the NASA computer as a platform, he gained
unauthorized access to
 other computer systems, including the Department of Interior Web server.

 ''The defendant gained illegal access ... either causing substantial
business loss, defacing a Web page
 with hacker graphics, copying personal information or, in the case of a
NASA computer, effectively
 seizing control,'' Stern said.

 Iffih also allegedly obtained unauthorized access to various computers
owned and operated by
 Northeastern University, unlawfully copying private information concerning
students, faculty
 administrators and alumni.

 Prosecutors said there was no disruption to the nation's defenses and no
meddling with satellite control
 and no improper use of private information, but that ZMOS, the Internet
provider, suffered a ''significant
 loss of business.''

 The Interior Department attack was one of several against high-profile
government and military Web
 sites throughout the spring and early summer retaliating over FBI raids
nationwide of several prominent
 hackers, including one who ultimately pleaded guilty to breaking into the
White House computers.

 The FBI raids were ''pretty public, and it raised a lot of hackles,'' said
B.K. DeLong, a staff member at
 Attrition.Org, a Web site devoted to computer security that maintains an
archive of vandalized Web
 pages. ''It caused many people to publish banners and deface Web sites in
the name of stopping the

 The Interior Department Web site one of those Iffih is charged with
vandalizing was hit in May by a
 hacker known on the Internet as ''DigiAlmty,'' who wrote that ''It's our
turn to hit them where it hurts...
 We'll keep hitting them 'till they get down on their knees and beg.''

 In a search of Iffih's home in Boston last fall, authorities said, they
found a one-page computer printout,
 containing the user name ''DigiAlmty.''

 Steve Schroeder, an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle, said there were
indications that Iffih and
 ''DigiAlmty'' might be one and the same. Schroeder wouldn't elaborate.

 Iffih, who remains free, is a ''pretty bright guy, relatively
sophisticated,'' Schroeder said.

 Iffih is a student at Northeastern's College of Computer Science.

 Northeastern spokeswoman Janet Hookailo said, ''We have been cooperating
with authorities since last
 fall. We'll continue to do so.''

 Hookailo said university officials also planned to meet with Iffih as soon
as possible to discuss the

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