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NASA Hacker Gary McKinnon Interviewed 402

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the out-of-this-world dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A BBC article reports about an interview between Click and Gary McKinnon who in 2002 hacked into NASA and other US Military networks. In the interview he talks about how he accessed machines by using default passwords and a conversation with a NASA network engineer using Wordpad. He also talks about how he found information about anti-gravity, UFO technology, free energy and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images."
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NASA Hacker Gary McKinnon Interviewed

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  • by suso (153703) * on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:48AM (#15276585) Homepage Journal
    No, the graphical remote viewer works frame by frame. It's a Java application, so there's nothing to save on your hard drive, or at least if it is, only one frame at a time.

    What kind of moron spends 3 years breaking into government computers and doesn't know how to do a screen capture or see the importance of saving what he's doing. Sorry folks, but from reading this interview, he seems like bullshit.
    • by FunkyELF (609131)
      Agreed. He doesn't seem to be that technical.
      If you watch the video rather than read the transcript...the part where he mentions having searched 65,000 computers for blank passwords, he elaborates and says that maybe only 5,000 were alive and of that, maybe only 500 ran Windows and only some of them had blank passwords.

      The fact that he mentions targeting windows machines and having a conversation on wordpad with someone leads me to beleive he was usuing one of those Back Oriface / sub-seven things that wer
    • SK: You were actually cut off the time you were downloading the picture?

      GM: Yes, I saw the guy's hand move across.


      By reading the article, you get the sense he is not a very "techy" kind of guy. He even admits to as much. I do believe that he was able to access government military computers. But that quote above shows he did not access the images he claimed to have. Did he hack into a NASA security camera that happened to be pointed at the screen? Or did he mean "cursor"? I dunna. He said "the guy's hand"..
      • He meant cursor.
      • If he was VNC'd into a computer with a webcam and a display of that cam on it, then he could have seen it the hand.

        But face it, we're just speculating.

      • by malsdavis (542216) * on Saturday May 06, 2006 @10:04AM (#15276946)
        If you had read or watched the interview you would know he was using the remote operating program RemoteAnywhere. In which case his story is totally consistent.

        He states that the image was downloading when a staff member physically accessed the computer and disconnected him. I know personally the program can freeze for a couple of seconds on a slow connection while taking screen shots. It is therefor quite plausable that he was waiting for the image to download before taking the screenshot and then did not have time - in the few seconds it takes for a person to go the bottom-right-corner of the screen and select disconnect - to take a screenshot of what had already downloaded (as he would have had no indication of someone being about to use the computer locally). 1 frame later and any cache of the image would have been lost.

        This doesn't at all prove his claim of viewing a NASA UFO image are true but they are atleast plausable.

        • If you had read or watched the interview you would know he was using the remote operating program RemoteAnywhere. In which case his story is totally consistent.

          Yeah, okay. I can explain away the "juddering" of the image as slow updates on their VNC client. I can explain away seeing "a hand" move across the screen as the mouse cursor....

          But, viewing photographs over 4-bit color? First of all, do any VNC-like clients actually support 16 color graphics? Second, how are you supposed to recognize anything in
          • AND he said that these were DEFINATELY UFOs because he didn't see rivets! How fucking close do you have to be in a photograph before you can a CHANCE of seeing rivets? If you're that close, Photoshop isn't going to be much help to you.
          • In the video interview (which makes him sound a lot more reasonable than the written interview), he was going to take a screenshot, but it wasn't finished downloading yet. I don't quite get the 4-bit color thing, though. Even at 56k, the RemoteAnywhere screen updates at a reasonable rate, right? Assuming that the bottleneck was his download rate, why couldn't he open the file on the remote desktop and have the whole image within a few seconds, just at the resolution that his RemoteAnywhere screen offered
    • by DrXym (126579) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:48AM (#15276872)
      This seems par for the course for UFO nuts. When pressed for hard evidence of the amazing things they claim, you get a bunch of excuses or some grainy blurry mess that could be and probably is a hubcap or a spray painted flower pot. In this idiot's case he has no excuse for not providing evidence. If he really saw these super secret UFOs, free energy devices etc, all he had to do was save / download the information and stash it somewhere.

      Since he didn't he is full of shit. The UFO / conspiracy nuts will probably love him.

    • by Rob Carr (780861)
      So, in other words, a fairly incompetent hacker managed to break into NASA and the military?

      Is this something NASA and the U.S. military should admit?

    • If he was using software like RemoteAnywhere he would have had no knowledge of someone being about to access the computer locally. From then it would have only been a couple of seconds till he was disconnected (and the frames lost).

      He could well have been waiting for the image to finish downloading before taking a screenshot and then not had a chance to take one in the (probably less than) couple of seconds he realised someone else was accessing the computer locally before being disconnected.

      This doesn't pr
    • by gerardrj (207690) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @10:51AM (#15277143) Journal
      This guy's full of shit. His answers don't make sense.

      ...and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days..."

      "...No, the graphical remote viewer works frame by frame. It's a Java application..."

      "SK: You were actually cut off the time you were downloading the picture?
      GM: Yes, I saw the guy's hand move across."


      Can someone show me a a Java VM that existed and would have been the programming language of choice in the "dial-up days"? At least to me the heyday of dialup was the late 80s to mid 90s, then cable and DSL started taking over. The first version of Java wasn't released until about '96 and wasn't widely deployed/accepted until 2000 or so.

      HOW did he see a "guy's hand move" over a dial-up connection that was sending about 1 frame every 2 minutes at best?

      Idiot. I'm guessing the interview was so short because the BBC interviewer smelled the BS.
      • Raising hackles. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It seems that the media of most countries champion the deeds of its "hackers", even when they aren't worth championing, in a manner akin to boosting sports teams, etc. In this case the Brit media wants the world to believe that the UK harbours uber-genius computer hackers, when in fact they've just interviewed some no-nothing dick with a 'Hacking for Dummies' book balanced on his lap.

        Here in New Zealand the same thing happens: a few years ago an employee of one of the country's largest ISPs shared his staff
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:49AM (#15276589)
    Is he certain he didn't stumble on a NASA honeypot?
  • by jamesjw (213986)
    I can see this story bringing out the conspiracy theory trolls for sure :)

  • by DerGeist (956018)
    He apparently got ahold of tons of super-secret information and mentions just enough in interviews to sound like a movie trailer, but when pressed for details he just contemptuously laughs and says something vague like "oh, the time is not right yet.."

    Does he really know anything interesting or did he just find a bunch of documents on how a missile works?

    • That's a good question.

      Now, regardless of him knowing anything - and his story being true or made up, it really must be mentioned that I could have given the same interview. What I mean by that is that if you search the net, read some of those strange UFO/alien/conspiracy/etc websites then you will find "information about anti-gravity, UFO technology, free energy and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images.".

      http://www.google.com/search?hl=no&q=nasa+airbrus h +ufo [google.com]
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:49AM (#15276593) Journal
    I'm going to throw out this warning that this article was not fairly summarized by Slashdot.

    I will preemptively state that UFO does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial technology or not from this planet. In the raw form of the acronym, it means simple that there is an Unidentified Flying Object. There are most likely hundreds of types of aircraft that governments around the world would refuse to classify due to a need to keep their enemies in the dark (national security).

    From the article:
    Gary McKinnon: I was in search of suppressed technology, laughingly referred to as UFO technology. I think it's the biggest kept secret in the world because of its comic value, but it's a very important thing.
    He interchangeably uses "suppressed technology" with "UFO technology." I'm certain the United States Government has tons of suppressed technology as well as any other government for obvious reasons.

    I should finish the quote, however:
    Old-age pensioners can't pay their fuel bills, countries are invaded to award oil contracts to the West, and meanwhile secretive parts of the secret government are sitting on suppressed technology for free energy.
    Ok, that last bit about free energy, you can go ahead and call him a nut job. And then there's also this:
    I got one picture out of the folder, and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days, using the remote control programme I turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen.

    But what came on to the screen was amazing. It was a culmination of all my efforts. It was a picture of something that definitely wasn't man-made.
    Yeah, Gary, it sure is crazy how you can mess with the color quality and resolution of an image to make it look like my family picture is really some image a green gelatinous blob that eats people.
    Firstly, because of what I was looking for, I think I was morally correct. Even though I regret it now, I think the free energy technology should be publicly available.
    Uh, I only heard a story about a blimp above the earth's atmosphere. Where was the story where you saw a device that produced unlimited amounts of energy?

    "In my house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" - Homer Simpson
    • Honestly... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Valdrax (32670) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:04AM (#15276666)
      Anyone who thinks that the US government is sitting on technology that would give us greater air superiority in combat, make exploration and military domination of space easy, eliminate a significant portion of our trade deficit, make us no longer beholden to countries like Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, etc., etc. is a complete and total lunatic.

      If we had alien technology, had reverse engineered it, and knew how to make it work, we would be using it right now.
      • If we had alien technology, had reverse engineered it, and knew how to make it work, we would be using it right now.
        But there is no contradiction. Just substitute the "we" part with some secret government agencies that try to hide the technology from the public. You use it, while at the same time keeping everyone from knowing that you do (so you do not use it, in a way.)
        • Re:Honestly... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Valdrax (32670) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:54AM (#15276896)
          See my reply to the other guy. Please explain what rational motive would lead the government to hide technology that could solve several major US policy goals and that would give us even more military superiority when the Pentagon is never satisfied with what they have already. Despite the abundant benefits of openly using the technology, your excuse must provide a good reason why hiding it has more benefits, especially as our economic leadership is starting to decay.
          • by linvir (970218)
            You're confusing the US government with the Secret Government. The US government is a big, boring, beaurocratic political entity. The Secret Government is a covert operation of crazy selfish people who maintain a secret hidden cache of awesome magic toys that nobody is allowed to play with, not even old people or ninjas.
          • Re:Honestly... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @11:32AM (#15277321) Homepage Journal
            The international wealthy have their wealth invested in the current petroleum based economy. If there really is a viable new technology, or one comes around, they would do everything they can to prevent it from getting a foothold and stopping the profit from the petroleum economy. They have made the investment in oil, and they have no interest in suddenly not making a profit off of it. We will be using oil, and they will be profitting from it, until the very last drop is used up. There's no sense in them throwing away their investment. Once the oil is all used up, and all the profit has been made from the investment in oil, then, and only then, will they change.

            These international cartels don't care about middle classes, poor people, political stability, or any country in particular. In fact, it's easier to make money in collapsed, unstable countries with corrupt politicians. There are no pesky laws, labor unions, middle class, or people's champion politicians getting in the way of profits.

            If war breaks out in the Congo, they can raise prices in response. Unstable markets mean windfall profits with little accountability. If there is a steady, consistent stream of product and revenue, people start getting suspicious about profitability and start wanting to audit the books. They want to get paid more for working in the fields, and politicians start wanting to tax the profitability of the oil. It's bad for business.
            • by Valdrax (32670) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @02:49PM (#15278185)
              The international wealthy have their wealth invested in the current petroleum based economy. If there really is a viable new technology, or one comes around, they would do everything they can to prevent it from getting a foothold and stopping the profit from the petroleum economy.

              Yeah, yeah, and the oil industry is hiding the 100 MPG carburetor and a car that can run on water.

              You know what? A little over 100 years ago, all the weatlhiest Americans and international investors had their money invested in railroads and related industries. The railroad was obsoleted for travel and for light shipping by the automobile and the airplane. The descendents of the people who were rich back then are still rich now.

              I don't buy the argument that the oil companies could prevent such technology from being found out about or that their investors would be all that interested in stopping it instead of getting all their money into it first or at least into other lucrative industries. Why do you think Bill Gates diversified his portfolio years ago?

              We've had many Presidents who were boosters of the space program or at least of our ICBM program during the Cold War. Had we a cheap way of getting to space based on alien technology, then why the hell would we waste all that money on chemical rockets when the life of the nation was on the line in nuclear detente? We could've dominated space over the Soviet Union with a fleet of craft, knocked nukes out of orbit on launch, and pretty much won the Cold War as a conventional war without all of the fuss.

              Face it, Occam's Razor demands that the most simple explanation (that we don't have the technology) should be listened to over the theory that we have all the technology but the world hasn't been shaped by it because of a coalltion of people working for interests that don't match the public interests they should have.
    • You clearly performed poorly in English comprehension testing in primary school.

      Gary McKinnon: I was in search of suppressed technology, laughingly referred to as UFO technology. I think it's the biggest kept secret in the world because of its comic value, but it's a very important thing."

      He interchangeably uses "suppressed technology" with "UFO technology." I'm certain the United States Government has tons of suppressed technology as well as any other government for obvious reasons.

      Gary McKinnon does

    • .. you can mess with the color quality and resolution of an image to make it look like my family picture is really some image a green gelatinous blob that eats people.

      Clearly you've never been part of a large family reunion...

      A green gelatinous blob that eats people would be preferable to some of my more distant relatives. Indeed, I think we had one attend once, at least it didn't offer to show me it's new tatoo in a place I'd just as soon skip seeing on any relative!

      Hmm, now I'm tempted to Photoshop

    • I have several pieces of technology in my posession that were not man-made. I didn't realize this was so important! You mean people are actually interested in this stuff? Should I ebay these things?

      Chauncey, our Moluccan cockatoo, regularly chews branches into sticks he can hold in his foot and drum with. It's how cockatoos mark territory in the wild. Pretty stupid, if you ask me -- his screams are far louder than any drumming he does. I've been throwing the sticks out. Maybe I should send them to NASA.

    • it sure is crazy how you can mess with the color quality and resolution of an image to make it look like my family picture is really some image a green gelatinous blob that eats people.

      Not so crazy if you don't omit the fact that you belong to a family of Blancmanges*! That's it, I'm investing heavily in kilt futures on the Scottish Mercantile Commodity Board first thing when it opens Monday morning.

      Only Mr and Mrs Samuel Brainsample can save us now! If they don't act fast, Scotland will be choked with Sco
  • by ctid (449118) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:51AM (#15276609) Homepage
    ... I can't think of any way to end this sentence. Here's a choice quote:

    I got one picture out of the folder, and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days, using the remote control programme I turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen.



  • April fools was last month folks!!
  • I had to double check the date on the article to make sure it wasn't 1st April!

    While this guy seems genuine, the whole conspiracy theory thing still rings alarm bells in my head. Not sure whether to believe him.
  • by wfberg (24378) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:55AM (#15276625)
    This guys best defense would be to issue a full and frank admission of guilt.

    Who would believe him?
  • by dietrollemdefender (970664) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:55AM (#15276627)
    But from reading the summary, he just uncovered sloppy security - breaking in using default passwords?!?

    The other thing is about the "airbrushing UFOs out of photos.."

    A UFO could be anything - Unidentified Flying Object - doesn't mean flying saucer from the planet Krypton. AND...if there really was flying saucers from Krypton out there, who's keeping the Europeans, Chinese, Russians, etc... from publishing those photos...

    I agree with previous posters - BS.

    The guy's trying to make a living on the talk-show circuit - somehow. Is there a way of finding out if he's being compensated for these "interviews"?

    • by xiando (770382) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:23AM (#15276757) Homepage Journal
      AND...if there really was flying saucers from Krypton out there, who's keeping the Europeans, Chinese, Russians, etc... from publishing those photos...

      The Bildeberg Group. You will hear of them soon enough. The media has time and time again told you the official government conspiracy story which claims that a guy in a cave somewhere was behind 9/11. As you will find by clicking the link in my sig, the evidence clearly shows it was an inside job. Millions of people worldwide have realized this and if you Google you'll find more websites about this issue than you could possible read in your lifetime.

      But now, reciently, Alex Jones and Sharlie Cheen were allowed to inform that 9/11 was an inside job on CNN (who originally came with the "government story" and are complicit).

      You WILL be infomed about the Bilderberg Group soon. And perhaps the truth about UFO's. You see, "The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, the Trilateral Commission - founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller - and the Bilderberg Group have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens." (Dr. Johannes Koeppl, former official of the German Ministry for Defense and adviser to NATO, 2001)
    • I've never understood this - what the hell is the point in airbrushing UFOs out of photographs? Just take the bloody photographs when the UFOs have moved on and release those instead.
      • I've never understood this - what the hell is the point in airbrushing UFOs out of photographs? Just take the bloody photographs when the UFOs have moved on and release those instead.

        They tried this, but aliens are notorious attention whores.
  • by Captain Perspicuous (899892) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:55AM (#15276628)
    The last time he was interviewed [checktheevidence.com], he said he didn't find any real proof for UFOs, just a file for "non-earth-based marines" (or something of that sort, it's been a year since I heard it). And now he suddenly has more info? This sounds to me like he's running out of money and tries to sell a story.
  • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:56AM (#15276633) Homepage Journal
    He also talks about how he found information about anti-gravity, UFO technology, free energy and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images."

    He forgot about UPC labels and the ZIP+4 system (which is really a secret relocation program). Just pray they never use it. =)

  • Airbrushed UFOs? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Megane (129182) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:56AM (#15276635) Homepage
    and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images."

    Like this one? [dvorak.org]

    (Yes, I know it's probably a water droplet on a high-altitude atmospheric camera, since there's a grid of them. Why wouldn't the "UFOs" airbrushed out by NASA also be weather balloons and similar artifacts?)

  • I for one am getting sick and tired of various nutjobs, scoundrels and losers latching onto the "energy conspiracy" bandwagon in order to justify stupidity.

    I've never met a hacker unable to grab an image- be it from cache or screenshot. This guy is full of shit, and looking for sympathy. Period.

    However: despite these loons, there *is* a very real "energy conspiracy". And guess what? It doesn't involve alien races or secret technology, it involves PLANTS (ya know, grow from dirt, rather cheap and eco-fri

  • Doesn't make sense (Score:3, Informative)

    by ardor (673957) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:58AM (#15276643)
    1) Hacking into NASA for three years with a 56k only?
    2) What about using the "Print" button which makes a screenshot? (Well, in Windows it does.)
    3) They are suppressing free energy? Why? Free energy would launch an incredible boom for economy, help greatly in pollution reduction, provide an excellent way of getting rid of oil dependency, provide instant cheap space exploration (and thus access to the vast resources on the moon and in the asteroid belt, for example), erase any poverty and/or hunger etc. So WHY should anyone suppress that? Can anyone tell me why?
    • 3) They are suppressing free energy? Why? Free energy would launch an incredible boom for economy, help greatly in pollution reduction, provide an excellent way of getting rid of oil dependency, provide instant cheap space exploration (and thus access to the vast resources on the moon and in the asteroid belt, for example), erase any poverty and/or hunger etc. So WHY should anyone suppress that? Can anyone tell me why?

      One word for you: CONTROL.

      • But they'd still have incentive to use 'free energy' to power surveillance drones all over the US. Just start them up and set them aloft, and never have to worry about running out of power.

        They'd also have incentive to run heavy military vehicles (tanks, mobile howitzers, etc) using the free energy tech, because fueling those things is a major logistical hassle.

        These kinds of changes would have little or no effect on the energy industry - the government didn't exactly balk at producing nuclear subs and airc
    • 3) They are suppressing free energy? Why? Free energy would launch an incredible boom for economy, help greatly in pollution reduction, provide an excellent way of getting rid of oil dependency, provide instant cheap space exploration (and thus access to the vast resources on the moon and in the asteroid belt, for example), erase any poverty and/or hunger etc. So WHY should anyone suppress that? Can anyone tell me why?

      Because according to one theory the impact the industrial age has had on the Earth's clima
      • But thats not logical, again.
        with free energy, once could just create big heaters to heat up the earth if it really gets colder.
        I mean, the energy is free, right?
  • by maynard (3337)
    was just fucking with him - trolling a hacker for laughs. Then it hits the press and NASA has a public relations problem on its hands. whoops.
  • Search Google, do research and your own thinking and you'll find that there is A LOT of "information about anti-gravity, UFO technology, free energy and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images." on the Internet and even though these things may sound odd, they are all extremely well documentet. However, The "New World Order" gang http://torrentchannel.com/the_new_world_order [torrentchannel.com] does not want you to have access to this information, specially not about UFO's, and they also do n
    • Search Google, do research and your own thinking and you'll find that there is A LOT of "information about anti-gravity, UFO technology, free energy and how UFOs are regularly airbrushed out from high-resolution satellite images." on the Internet and even though these things may sound odd, they are all extremely well documentet.

      Are you suggesting we should believe everything we read on the Internet? And are you saying it with a straight face, no less?

      • Are you suggesting we should believe everything we read on the Internet? And are you saying it with a straight face, no less?

        Definitively not. However, I do suggest that you READ what is on the Internet BEFORE you decide if you should believe it or not. The laws of physics and your own common sense can help you judge what is true and what is false information. BUT DO READ THE INFORMATION BEFORE YOU JUDGE IT. Dismissal of information without research, without an attempt to verify if it is true or false an
  • From TFA... the guy can go through all this on the remote machine:

    I got one picture out of the folder, and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days, using the remote control programme I turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen.

    And then this:

    SK: Do you have a copy of this? It came down to your machine.

    GM: No, the graphical remote viewer works fr
  • by Tx (96709)
    For those who don't know, BBC Click is an extremely-dumbed-down-for-the-masses IT show from the BBC, to the extent that most slashdotters would probably cringe if they had to watch it. This being an interview, I'm assuming they're quoting verbatim and haven't edited it for the masses though, but you never know.

    Only good thing about that show is Kate Russell, but she hardly gets any screen time.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:19AM (#15276738)
    "I wrote a tiny Perl script that tied together other people's programs that search for blank passwords, so you could scan 65,000 machines in just over eight minutes."

    65000/8 = 8125 per min.
    8125/60 = 135 per sec.

    Dunno about that. Just the time it takes to bring up a socket and get some syn/ack going chews up a good portion of a second. Maybe he was searching a local password database.
    • by vidarlo (134906) <[ten.xestib] [ta] [olradiv]> on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:38AM (#15276827) Homepage
      "I wrote a tiny Perl script that tied together other people's programs that search for blank passwords, so you could scan 65,000 machines in just over eight minutes." 65000/8 = 8125 per min. 8125/60 = 135 per sec. Dunno about that. Just the time it takes to bring up a socket and get some syn/ack going chews up a good portion of a second. Maybe he was searching a local password database.

      In the TFA he says he was on a 56K dial-up link...Say each machine sends a 25 byte login string, you send a 20byte login credentials, they send 50 byte denials. That is around 100 bytes pr machine, in a theoretical minimum (overhead for TCP/IP - telnet handshakes and such makes it probably three times as much). So 135 machines would mean 135*100bytes=13.5kB/sec. 56K modem has 33.6kb upload speed, so he could send 4kB/sec at optimal. So he is clearly a nutjob.

    • Not that I beleive the guy or anything, but this actually seems possible. He's just checking for a blank password, so all he has to do is set up an array of ips to check and start forking off processes to check them, just do 135 in parrallel and you can scan them all within a second.
    • Dunno about that. Just the time it takes to bring up a socket and get some syn/ack going chews up a good portion of a second. Maybe he was searching a local password database.

      Good point, but you forgot something

      He was operating on a 56k dialup line. Wanna drop those numbers a little? :-)
  • Conspiracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kakapo (88299) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:34AM (#15276811)
    The thing that always surprises me about these Giant Conspiracy nutjobs is that they never really ask themselves how such a conspiracy would *work*. There must be thousands of people in the know, going back for at least 30 years -- and they really think this wouldn't have leaked by now??

    Apple can't keep the date they launch new computers secret (next Tuesday for the next batch intel powerbooks, by all accounts). And that is a secret with a finite lifetime (three months ago not even Steve Jobs knew the date -- a week from now everyone will know it).

    The NSA can't randomly listen in on international calls for more than a year or two without someone blowing the whistle. The CIA grabs some very bad guy in Pakistan and holds his head underwater, and a few months later we can all read about it in the New Yorker.

    Remember this giant conspiracy is brought to you by the same people who run FEMA and promote "absitence only" sex education as a solution to teen pregnancy. But somehow the conspiracy works well until some script kiddie breaks into NASA over a dialup line (you plan to find free energy devices that will change the face of civilization, and you can't spring for DSL??) and you find that all these "secrets" are protected by default passwords. This guy presumably did hack into NASA, but the rest of it crap -- he is either nuts, or hoping that the Feds will decide it isn't worth the bother to have the guy spouting this nonsense on the stand.
    • Re:Conspiracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Saturday May 06, 2006 @12:26PM (#15277564)
      The thing that always surprises me about these Giant Conspiracy nutjobs is that they never really ask themselves how such a conspiracy would *work*. There must be thousands of people in the know, going back for at least 30 years -- and they really think this wouldn't have leaked by now??


      Such a conspiracy would work by publishing the broad scope of what's going on, with a few errors added, as fiction. And also publishing a lot of other related, fictional ideas with the same premise. That way it's still effectively secret - you'll never know which one of the X-Files episodes was a true story - and anybody who tries to blow the whistle will be treated like a conspiracy nut and ignored, because everybody already thinks of that as fiction.

      It's an insidious idea and it would probably work. Our abilities to falsify images, documents, videos, and even reality (to some extent) have grown so effective that it's no longer possible to prove that aliens exist: even if I brought a live talking mollusc over to your house, you'd get on slashdot and post about three different ways that could have been faked.

      The simple fact is that people believe what TV tells them to believe, and TV tells them that people who believe in UFOs and aliens are crazy conspiracy nuts. We will probably never know whether or not this is actually true; the subject has become so obscured that truth is most likely unobtainable at this point.

      So, yes, there could be a conspiracy going back 30 years with thousands of people in the know. No, I'm not saying that it wouldn't have leaked by now. I'm saying that if there was a conspiracy, the mere fact that we're talking about it indicates that it has already leaked, and the leaks have been ignored by the public because most of them didn't believe any of it. This should not seem unreasonable to you, because there are hundreds of subjects which involve information, of interest to the general public, which is only known by a group of a few thousand individuals simply because the rest are too stupid to understand it, or because TV told them it wasn't true. Subjects like medicine, biology, physics, statistics, and most other technically inclined disciplines are full of such things. It is a very small step to move from this to outright secrecy, when the populace at large would neither believe or understand the information that is being kept secret.

      Whether or not that has actually happened? Well, I've just spent ten minutes explaining why you'll never get a useful answer to that. For practical purposes, it is unlikely that it will ever matter to your life in any way (regardless of what the answer is), and that's probably more important.
    • Re:Conspiracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Paladin144 (676391) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @12:58PM (#15277706) Homepage
      The thing that always surprises me about these Giant Conspiracy nutjobs is that they never really ask themselves how such a conspiracy would *work*. There must be thousands of people in the know, going back for at least 30 years -- and they really think this wouldn't have leaked by now??

      Works pretty well, I'd say. If somebody ever comes out and starts telling secrets, they are immediately branded a "giant conspiracy nutjob." And after that.... and after that nothing. Nobody pays attention to them any more. Case closed. I wonder how many of the people who screamed "nutjob" had even finished reading the article before they made up their mind. I wonder how many have done any serious research into the matter.

      I'm not saying this guy is for real. You'd think he'd get something better than dialup if this is his obsession. But to claim that a massive conspiracy couldn't work is just ludicrous. It's all about getting people to play along, while compartmentalizing knowledge. It's possible nobody really knows all the big secrets out there. So then is it really even a conspiracy? Sounds more like it's just our fucked up world, where everyone thinks he knows everything.

      The NSA can't randomly listen in on international calls for more than a year or two without someone blowing the whistle. The CIA grabs some very bad guy in Pakistan and holds his head underwater, and a few months later we can all read about it in the New Yorker.

      The NSA has been listening to domestic calls for over 30 years. Get a clue. Read some of my older posts for more information on this. It's people like you who make "conspiracy" possible, because you don't question what leaders tell you. The reason why nobody is too shocked about Bush's international call spying is because most people of power in Washington know that the NSA has been monitoring domestic calls for decades. It's really not that big of a deal. But you can't talk about it in polite company without being branded a nutjob, no matter how many facts are on your side.

      You're not one of those people who doesn't believe in any conspiracies, are you? There are folks out there who reject the very idea of a conspiracy, saying that it has never happened, in all of human history - EVER....And people say conspiracy "theorists" are the nutjobs. sheesh. The whole coincidence theory [wikipedia.org] crowd actually just makes the conspiracy theorist crowd more paranoid because it leads them to believe that everyone has been brainwashed. In a way, I suppose, it's true.

      Conspiracies can be very benign and very mundane. For instance, I am party to a secret conspiracy to fool people worldwide. I bet you are, too. It involves telling children that a fat guy in a red suit flies around the planet delivering presents to the entire world in just 24 hours. That's right: Santa Claus. Have you ever really wondered why we tell our children such ridiculous lies? And the creepy thing is that every adult is in on the conspiracy. How can it be possible that we are all a party to this vast conspiracy? What do we even have to gain from it?

      The weird thing is, if you dare to tell a child the truth, their parents will get upset at you! It's insane. I met a guy recently who admitted he believed in Santa until he was 16 years old. And somebody had to tell him! He was devastated! Now, if this guy tells me there's no such thing as UFOs, should I believe him? Personally, I was rigging boobytraps for Santa by the time I was 6 or 7 years old.

      My point is, don't be so sure that our leaders are telling the truth. Sometimes people -- no, whole cultures lie, for no good reason. That doesn't mean Gary McKinnon isn't full of shit, but it's impossible to know for sure. There is certainly more to our world than meets the eye.

  • "the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen"

    So it was a GIF? :)
  • While the guy sounds like a nut case, i would like to point out that a *real* UFO classification only means that its unidentified, not that its a little green man buzzing around. US Military UFOs are not that uncommon. Remember the stealth fighter was classified as a UFO until we knew what it was and no alien tech there. just a lot of hard work from us humans.

    Also, if you consider that technically sunlight is 'free' energy, and if you take into account the 'cost' of equipment to harvest it, the basic co
  • by 3seas (184403) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:54AM (#15276894) Journal
    It seems every so many years this sort of thing happens as a dumbing down of the general population.

    many of the posts here point out the flaws in what this guy presents, but if he really did hack into some classified systems and he is that dumb to not know how to save a screen image....

    what is he really saying?

    that even a monkey can hack into national security?

    Oh wait, didn't some research expose that a monkey was able to hack into the diebold voting machines???

    There are alot of people on this planet that know that so called alien life exist, technology more advanced than what we have created exist and even sources of so called free energy, etc. SO WHAT?

    The fact of the matter is that is NOT what we are doing with our time here.

    here is something else we are not doing, though we have the knowledge, man power and natural resources to do it
    and there is nothing hidden about it.

    http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/theme_a/mod02 /www.worldgame.org/wwwproject/ [unesco.org]

    since we can't even help ourselves, or don't show a real intent or effort to, then what the fuck useful is it to even acknowledge the existance of such advanced stuff?

    unless you just want to insult others.

  • I BELIEVE HIM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CranberryKing (776846) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @10:45AM (#15277113)
    I am seeing a lot of criticism but you are all looking for holes. Addressing those arguments:

    * The "hand moving accross".. he meant the mouse was then controlled by someone viewing the desktop who realized he was remotely controlling.
    * [possibly] that same person launched wordpad to type a message knowing he would see it, "who are you? what are you doing?"
    * He didn't save anything because he was just discovering it and didn't know what he would be looking at in advance. Then he was cut off.

    There is nothing unbelievable about his story unless you are still in denial that the governments are hiding free energy technology and awareness of alien life from the general public. If he has changed his story at all, it is probably because he is now contending with the fact that he may spend the rest of his life in 6'x6' concrete room in the US.

    Free Energy is the death blow to the entire class/economic system that keeps most of the world enslaved to 12 families. If we all had access to Free Energy, no one would have to "Earn a Living", we would just live (imagine that). The perfect example is when J.P. Morgan pulled all his funding and effectively shut down Nikola Tesla when he realized Tesla was working on a free energy system. He said (parapharsing possibly) "if it's free to anyone, where do I put the meter?". In a matter of years Wardenclyffe was being dismantled and we know how the rest of the story goes.

    Believe it.
  • by zoeblade (600058) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @11:53AM (#15277420) Homepage

    Leaving conspiracy theories aside for a second, isn't it just as interesting and worth commenting on that several American military administrator users that are accessible over the internet aren't password protected, or that the same government is trying to throw this person in jail for sixty years for using these accounts, double what you'd get in the UK (the hacker's own country) for murder?

  • Honeypots (Score:5, Informative)

    by JacksonAces (868638) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @03:05PM (#15278232)
    This guy is just trying to cover his rear. Here is a quote from another site covering this story. I think it should sort some of the conspiracy theorist's fears about national security:

    from http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink =2051653 [fark.com] :

    erewhon wrote:

    "muninsfire: Calling erewhon....

    Last time this came up, IIRC, it was stated that NASA, et al, have 'honeypot' systems filled with spurious, though tantalizing, information--if you go cracking into 'em multiple times, they trace you and send the guys in the suits who have no sense of humour.


    You rang? This is what, like rerun #4 for this one guy?

    Ok, kiddies, here is something that is the absolute truth. Consider it closely when you go groping around other people's systems.

    All these agencies have their very own MIS departments, who, contrary to popular opinion, are very VERY good at what they do. The military guys have the Defense Information Systems Agency, for example, although quite often the intelligence branches for the various services get in the game as well. We have at least two military MIS guys that post regularly on Fark. One of them works at NORAD, for example.

    Now, it's not unheard of for DIA to launch attacks on various military MIS systems just to see how well they are doing. I recall one physical invasion where they infiltrated a Marine base and corrupted their system, but I digress.

    Here's the deal. There are no less than three military networks. The lowest level is NIPRNET, and it is tied to the civilian internet by gateways. It is fairly secure, but no secure data is trusted on it.

    Next is SIPRNET. SIPRNET is ok for traffic up to 'TS'. SIPRNET is not physically connected to the civilian Internet. Anywhere. At all. You can't "hack into it" because there are no systems with both connections. That is verboten. They audit you to make sure you didn't do some dorky multihomed system with links to both. All the time. There's even rules about how close you can put a NIPRNET and a SIPRNET machine in the same room.

    But wait, SIPRNET is TS at best. It has its very own web program called Intelink-S. SIPRNET has all SORTS of cool stuff on it, but it's been described as tactical instead of strategic and while I don't go surfing around just to see what I can get into (bad form) that's probably true.

    Then you have JWICS. JWICS is top level. It has SCI level stuff. You use Intelink-SCI. It has battle plan type crap, strategic level info. On JWICS the elder gods of They® reside, like Zeus on Olympus. You thought DISA was a biatch about SIPRNET. JWICS isn't the sort of thing you want due to the asspain level it brings you.

    Like SIPRNET, JWICS is totally separate, it has NO physical connections to ANYTHING civilian. It's the sort of thing where they might monitor the freaking dispersion characteristics and signal flight time of the fiber for taps. The sort of thing where they'll probably end up using OAM-entangled modulation. Where the cable sheath might be pressurized and double walled with marker gas in the outer sheath that sets off alarms when the slightest pinhole occurs. Personally, I don't know how the physical level of JWICS is protected and don't want to.

    Now, for the sort of thing our young Brit is discussing, data for SCI projects, that would be on JWICS, if it were stored on ANY accessible server. You would not be getting into JWICS. I can't imagine a more classified project. Hell, it's probably OVER SCI, whatever's up there in the security stratosphere. But it couldn't be less than SCI.

    It would be a violation of any number of legal documents and/or oaths to put something like that on NIPRNET, much less on a civilian web server.

    So, what did he find? Well, they put out honeypots. The term is "military intrusion detection honeypot". You can't readily get to it,

    • Re:Honeypots (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fatduck (961824) * on Sunday May 07, 2006 @03:44AM (#15280411)
      Oh dear...

      Next is SIPRNET. SIPRNET is ok for traffic up to 'TS'. SIPRNET is not physically connected to the civilian Internet. Anywhere. At all. You can't "hack into it" because there are no systems with both connections. That is verboten. They audit you to make sure you didn't do some dorky multihomed system with links to both. All the time. There's even rules about how close you can put a NIPRNET and a SIPRNET machine in the same room.

      Okay, let's see. SIPRNet packets are (often, not always) transmitted over civilian internet routers. Otherwise there'd be damn near no connectivity. There is no "secret internet" setup parallel to the internet backbone we all know and love. The only difference is you can only send/receive encrypted packets on SIPRNet. I'm not saying SIPRNet isn't secure, but it's a far cry from "totally separate." By the way, the laptop I'm on right now is sitting roughly 6-12 inches away from another laptop which is connected to the SIPRnet. There's nothing in 380-5 that mandates a physical separation between classified and unclassified systems.

      But wait, SIPRNET is TS at best. It has its very own web program called Intelink-S. SIPRNET has all SORTS of cool stuff on it, but it's been described as tactical instead of strategic and while I don't go surfing around just to see what I can get into (bad form) that's probably true.

      Actually, Secret is the highest level of classification authorized on SIPRNet. While just "surfing around" does violate the letter of the law as far as having a "need to know" to access classified information, I wouldn't say it's regarded as "bad form" by most. Actually, that's pretty much what I do all day. It's ridiculous to classify SIPRNet as "tactical" as it depends on what information you're trying to access. There's plenty of information at tactical and operational levels that are highly classified. Just because a unit is at the "strategic" echelon doesn't mean they're all cooking up ultra-top-secret plans for invading China.

      Then you have JWICS. JWICS is top level. It has SCI level stuff. You use Intelink-SCI. It has battle plan type crap, strategic level info. On JWICS the elder gods of They® reside, like Zeus on Olympus. You thought DISA was a biatch about SIPRNET. JWICS isn't the sort of thing you want due to the asspain level it brings you.

      Actually, most people use JWICS to make free phone calls from their Trojan Spirit truck. I guess I should have joined #mountolympus and talked to @[lol]HaDeZ aka Donald Rumsfeld. You're making it sound like you might accidentally open Bush's furry porn folder on the share drive but your ethernet cable (which has to be made of tinfoil to connect to JWICS, right?) will unplug itself and strangle you before you can watch any of the videos.

      Now, for the sort of thing our young Brit is discussing, data for SCI projects, that would be on JWICS, if it were stored on ANY accessible server. You would not be getting into JWICS. I can't imagine a more classified project. Hell, it's probably OVER SCI, whatever's up there in the security stratosphere. But it couldn't be less than SCI.

      Yea it's probably COSMIC TOP SECRET right cause it's about aliens! Aliens are way too cool just to be "Top Secret" right, that's boooorinng. PROTIP: Top Secret is the highest level of classification the U.S. Government uses. If they have some special project that needs to be more restricted, such as Project Alienware then they'll classify it "Top Secret/Alienware" and limit the project to a certain number of TS clearance holders. That's it. A lot more modular than a bunch of escalating clearance levels like "Ultra Top Secret" "Ridiculously Top Secret" "G14 Classified" and so on (discounting modifiers such as NOFORN, REL NATO, etc.)

      Like SIPRNET, JWICS is totally separate, it has NO physical connections to ANYTHING civilian. It's the sort of thing where they might monitor the

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