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Feds: Sailor Hacked Navy Network While Aboard Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the to-the-hacking-station dept.

Security 43

ClownP (1315157) writes in with this story about a hacker who did some of his work while aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier. " A former sailor assigned to a US nuclear aircraft carrier and another man have been charged with hacking the computer systems of 30 public and private organizations, including the US Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, AT&T, and Harvard University. Nicholas Paul Knight, 27, of Chantilly, VA, and Daniel Trenton Krueger, 20, of Salem, IL, were members of a crew that hacked protected computers as part of a scheme to steal personal identities and obstruct justice, according to a criminal complaint unsealed earlier this week in a US District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The gang, which went by the name Team Digi7al, allegedly took to Twitter to boast of the intrusions and publicly disclose sensitive data that was taken. The hacking spree lasted from April 2012 to June 2013, prosecutors said."

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Not in trouble for hacking... (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 3 months ago | (#46972079)

“Essentially I am in trouble for posting all of the stuff on Twitter,”

You're in trouble for bragging about it. It's amazing how many criminals get caught because they can't keep their mouth shut. To me that seems like Crime 101. The first rule of black hat hacking is you don't talk about black hat hacking.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

XanC (644172) | about 3 months ago | (#46972105)

I hope the percentage of criminals who get caught for bragging is high... Because if for every one of these guys in the article, there's one who can keep his mouth shut, then we may be in trouble.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#46972161)

To keep a secret perfectly safe, your odds of success are best if you are the only one who knows it happened and you tell no one.

If you trust someone else with the secret, you are forced to be realistic about the likelihood it will be spread further, since you, yourself couldn't be trusted with it.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#46972795)

Yes, but how else will I plot the current advancement of human information conveyance systems if not by spreading previously unknown information and tracking its spread? How else will I map the information hierarchy and determine my next move?

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#46974399)

By leaking disinformation?

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46972181)

That's the bummer about hacking, you can't brag. If you're black hat, you get caught, if you're white hat, the NDA hits you.

So, kids, hacking ain't cool. Even if you hack the worlds best secured fortress, it's like doing the once in a lifetime stunt that nobody will believe you did but you forgot to record it.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46972321)

That's the bummer about hacking, you can't brag. If you're black hat, you get caught, if you're white hat, the NDA hits you.

If you're a good white hat; you make sure to negotiate your NDA so it isn't so unfairly restrictive that it prevents you from bragging about your accomplishments.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 3 months ago | (#46972675)

If you're a real White Hat, you're a professional. Professionals work. You complete your work tasking, while abiding by all rules, regulations, SOPS, and agreements associated with your work. Kids and amateurs play...and perhaps brag. Huge difference.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46972957)

Kids and amateurs play...and perhaps brag. Huge difference.

Kids and amateurs brag, professionals create resume entries which chronicle their successes.

Oh yeah, and the really good ones have so much work that they don't have to accept agreements which forbid them from advertising their accomplishments.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 3 months ago | (#46973107)

True. But professionally, like, "Led or participated in X Blue Team and Y Red Team reviews, resulting in discovery and remediation of z exploitable weaknesses." That's not bragging. If you sound like you're bragging, your credibility is diminished.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46974785)

That's not bragging. If you sound like you're bragging, your credibility is diminished.

It's bragging dressed up in a different way. Yes, people in a professional environment are sensitive to the manner in which you boast about your accomplishments, but at a fundamental level, companies and individuals get hired or not based on what they choose to boast about.

Kids call it bragging, Pros call it their portfolio, and corporations call it posting their success stories and case studies (which Marketing writes up for distribution to prospective customers).

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46974097)

"Bragging", in a professional setting, means going around conventions and holding panels.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

crankyspice (63953) | about 3 months ago | (#46972627)

That's the bummer about hacking, you can't brag. If you're black hat, you get caught, if you're white hat, the NDA hits you.

So, kids, hacking ain't cool. Even if you hack the worlds best secured fortress, it's like doing the once in a lifetime stunt that nobody will believe you did but you forgot to record it.

http://www.anyclip.com/movies/sneakers/martins-job/#!quotes/ [anyclip.com]

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 3 months ago | (#46975385)

That's the bummer about hacking, you can't brag. If you're black hat, you get caught, if you're white hat, the NDA hits you.

Hackers, even the black-hatted ones, are way too honest for their line of work. They have a lot to learn from the software and video pirates of the 1980's

THiS PoST CRaCKeD By THe aMaZiNG WoNDuMuNCHeR!!

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46978225)

Without saying or implying anything...

I need people with good assembler skills. REALLY good assembler skills. The kind of people who can look at some asm code and spot the "odd bits" that don't "belong", so they know where to put the crowbar.

There is exactly one kind of people who have that kind of skill. Or, as a friend put it, there's two kind of people that apply here. The ones with a police record, and the good ones.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 3 months ago | (#47012997)

There is exactly one kind of people who have that kind of skill. Or, as a friend put it, there's two kind of people that apply here. The ones with a police record, and the good ones.

No, no, no, you've got it all wrong. Very few black hats have chops. What white hats have is restraint. By and large, they're script kitties... as in utilizing a script kit, and it takes no skill to run a script. (yeah, I know everyone else says "script kiddies" because they think they're young... NOPE... script kitties are OLD and LAZY. The actual kids have WAY more skills than script kitties,... its ridiculous!).

I need people with good assembler skills. REALLY good assembler skills. The kind of people who can look at some asm code and spot the "odd bits" that don't "belong", so they know where to put the crowbar.

Then what you want is an early 80's cracker (or programmer). DId everything in assembly. And none got in trouble, because copyright infringement is a victimless civil offence, not a criminal one. Also, either no one cared or no one understood, because there was no money involved, like the overseas DVD pirates today; so ignored except when you fired up your game and looked at the title splash where it was preferred to take credit for whatever, transferring from cartridge to disk, or removing copy protection, and were at times a low kb demo was inserted.

And as everything is back compiled into assembly today, the code at that level is now a complete mess... utterly inscrutable. Back then, the great programmers were "real" men... and authored their wares originally in assembly. That's why it was possible to crack it, because it made sense.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (3, Interesting)

StormReaver (59959) | about 3 months ago | (#46972269)

You're in trouble for bragging about it.

âoeEssentially I am in trouble for posting all of the stuff on Twitter,â

And now you're going to prison because you just confessed to it all on public forums.

Again.

Your trial is going to be very short, and your sentence is going to be very long.

It's said that there is no accounting for stupidity, but this is natural selection at work.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#46972425)

That's exactly it. Most people who are in jail talk themselves into it. These guys were stupid.
That said, it's the black-hat hackers and criminals in general who don't engage in bravado are the ones you need to worry about.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46972921)

There was a kind of bleach & its slogan was "Kills all known germs - DEAD!".

My gran always used to reply "It's the unknown ones that I'm worried about!"

No, I'm not related to Donald Rumsfeld.

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46972863)

The first rule of black hat hacking is you don't talk about black hat hacking.

Does telling people not to talk about it constitute talking about it?

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

Greeninja (1936704) | about 3 months ago | (#46978355)

Security Culture: Nobody Talks, everybody walks

Re:Not in trouble for hacking... (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | about 3 months ago | (#46981327)

âoeEssentially I am in trouble for posting all of the stuff on Twitter,â

Yes, that's true, you're in trouble because you announced it to the world, like duh, Beckie.

Nuclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972133)

Let's see how many times we can use this word in the headline and summary to get people all riled up.

Re:Nuclear (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#46972663)

Let's see how many times we can use this word in the headline and summary to get people all riled up.

The fnords are strong with this one.

Hang 'im High! (2)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 3 months ago | (#46972183)

Sensationalism. Propaganda. We'll be sure to think of the children as ew teach the tairists a lesson.

"...aboard a NUCLEAR aircraft carrier..."
Because the US also has a bunch of coal-fired carriers and a couple of old-fashioned pedal-powered ones?

HACKED network... while ABOARD
So... he accessed other networks. While he was working or when he had a rack pass and time to kill?

Re:Hang 'im High! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972275)

The US also has a bunch of commissioned diesel-powered ships that can carry and operate aircraft (Osprey-class). They are called amphibious transport warships, and have a displacement similar to that of WWII carriers. So the sarcasm is a little over the top.

Re:Hang 'im High! (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#46972729)

The US also has a bunch of commissioned diesel-powered ships that can carry and operate aircraft (Osprey-class). They are called amphibious transport warships, and have a displacement similar to that of WWII carriers. So the sarcasm is a little over the top.

No. It is not. An aircraft carrier is a very specific type of ship and the US has none that are not nuclear powered. You don't call a Coast Guard ship that has a helicopter on it an aircraft carrier. Nor would you call a private yacht or corporate vessel with a helicopter an aircraft carrier. You said it yourself, the diesel ships with Osprey's are amphibious transports.

Re:Hang 'im High! (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46972903)

An aircraft carrier is a very specific type of ship and the US has none that are not nuclear powered.

I was going to say you're wrong, but the John F. Kennedy's been mothballed. I must have slept through that.

Re:Hang 'im High! (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#46974623)

An aircraft carrier is a very specific type of ship and the US has none that are not nuclear powered.

I was going to say you're wrong, but the John F. Kennedy's been mothballed. I must have slept through that.

Meh. It's only been 7 years since it was decommissioned.

Re:Hang 'im High! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46975441)

Shit, I know. Feel free to call me call me Rip Van Winkle.

There's a lot of other things that fall into the "it's been 7 years since" category, but this ain't the time or the place.

Re:Hang 'im High! (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 3 months ago | (#46975487)

They just sold the Sorry Sara for $-0.01

Re:Hang 'im High! (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 3 months ago | (#46975507)

...or a Cruiser, for example, that can carry TWO SH-60 seahawks

can some of them be Court-martial? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46972501)

See how at least some of them did while in the Navy and hacked the Navy?

Re:Hang 'im High! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972785)

"Sensationalism. Propaganda." That you say it out of hand implies you're a fscking moron.

Damn right. (2)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#46973281)

Sensationalism. Propaganda. We'll be sure to think of the children as ew teach the tairists a lesson.

Think about it.

Knight was an active duty enlisted member of the Navy assigned to the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. He worked as a systems administrator in the carrier's nuclear reactor department. He is accused of conducting some of his unlawful hacking while aboard.

Feds: Sailor hacked Navy network while aboard nuclear aircraft carrier [arstechnica.com]

That cuts a little too close to the bone.

It gets better:

''Essentially I am in trouble for posting all of the stuff on Twitter,''Knight told ABC News by email in his first interview. ''Although a lot of people are saying I was the leader of some crime organizations that was out to get people which wasn't true. Just a group of people that were dumb and did dumb things.''

In criminal information filed Monday, prosecutors allege that while Knight served in the Navy as a systems administrator in the nuclear reactor department of the USS Harry S. Truman, he was also leading a double life as a self-proclaimed ''nuclear black hat'' and the leader of a hacking group called Team Digi7al that stole or attempted to steal confidential or private information and post it online.

After the attacks, the group then bragged about their accomplishments on Twitter, with Knight acting as the main ''publicist,'' according to the Department of Justice.

The court filing noted that three alleged members of the group were minors when they joined.

Prosecutor Ryan Souders, who is involved in the case, told ABC News that generally when a suspect is charged in a criminal information filing, rather than an indictment, that means the defense has indicated they will not contest the charges.

Alleged Navy Hacker Says His Group Just 'Did Dumb Things' [go.com]

I

Re:Damn right. (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 3 months ago | (#46975527)

The interesting part is the three minors. I thought that the Navy has gone back to the "nobody under 18, period" rule for enlistments

Nuclear is irrelevant (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 months ago | (#46972419)

Way to sensationalize.

Not to a jury (2)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 3 months ago | (#46972927)

Way to sensationalize.

In the United States, prosecutors have the job of sensationalizing in order to get a conviction and longer sentences. They are spinning a story they design out of the facts, so they pick the facts which make someone seem as guilty as possible and of as big a crime as possible.

The defense attorney's job is to whittle that down. The jury has the job of guessing the truth from two competing false narratives (the prosecution and the defense). Only the judge can ask witnesses questions impartially, and he or she generally doesn't do that a lot.

Re:Nuclear is irrelevant (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 3 months ago | (#46975755)

Guy was a 3rd class, prolly the ink was barely dry on his promotion to 2nd class, then busted to 3rd out the door. TIR start of April 2011, enlisted 2009 He wasn't a "system administrator", he was cleaning the dust bunnies out of the computers.

Bring back the death penalty for spying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972433)

Execute all spies by hanging them by the neck until dead. Problem solved.

Re:Bring back the death penalty for spying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972579)

Execute all spies by hanging them by the neck until dead. Problem solved.

When civil war comes, swine like you will be good practice targets.

Help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46972679)

What's the consensus on these guys? Are we supposed to hold them in derision for their acts, look down on them for their stupidity, or champion as freedom-fighting bastions of truth and light (aka "Snowden-ize" them)? I have a hard time figuring out what we're all supposed to believe on these things.

Really? (1)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#46975717)

Really, they were hacking on the aircraft carrier? Hacking what? Would be funny if a system failed so catastrophically they had to have sailors on board actually patch and recompile on the spot, and even if they were just innocently hacking away at a recalcitrant build-script for their photomanager or something it would still be cool, right?

At least that was what I thought when I read the headline. Imagine my surprise to find out this is actually a story about crime-on-the-internet and has othing to do with hacking whatsoever.

0o
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