Brit Arrested by NCA for Hacking US Army, Missile Defense, EPA & NASA

It said little more beyond that the man is 28 years old, was arrested in Suffolk under the Computer Misuse Act, and has been released on bail until February 2014. The FBI, however, has provided more details. The man was "Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, England." He is simultaneously charged, in a federal complaint unsealed in connection with his UK arrest, "with breaching thousands of computer systems in the United States and elsewhere—including the computer networks of federal agencies—to steal massive quantities of confidential data", announced the New Jersey Attorney's Office.

“According to the indictment, Lauri Love and conspirators hacked into thousands of networks, including many belonging to the United States military and other government agencies”, said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. “As part of their alleged scheme, they stole military data and personal identifying information belonging to servicemen and women."

The co-conspirators remain unnamed, but it is believed that one lives in Sweden and two are resident in Australia.

The attacks were allegedly planned in secure IRC chat lines, where the conspirators frequently changed their nicknames. The object of the conspiracy, says the FBI statement, "was to hack into the computer networks of the government victims and steal large quantities of non-public data, including PII, to disrupt the operations and infrastructure of the United States government."

The attacks were launched from proxy and TOR servers to disguise the attackers' IP addresses. Those attacks were frequently SQL injections, but also included Coldfusion exploits. Once they had gained access to a network, the attackers planted unnamed malware to maintain access and allow subsequent data theft.

The incident underlines the borderless nature of internet crime, and, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, "shows the necessity and value of strong partnerships among law enforcement agencies worldwide in the fight against cyber criminals."

"We appreciate the bilateral support of the National Crime Agency in bringing cyber criminals to justice,” said Daniel Andrews, director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit.

Neither the FBI nor the NCA statements give any indication of whether any subsequent trial is likely to be held in the UK, or whether the US will seek Love's extradition to face charges in the US. If the latter happens, Love will face up to ten years in a US prison.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?