Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
The British man thought to have hacked into 53 US government agencies' computer systems has spoken out about his discoveries in Nasa's networks.
The 39-year-old from north London told The Guardian he initially started his hacking career when looking for evidence of a UFO cover-up. Using a software program, Gary McKinnon was able to discover senior network administrators who didn't use passwords.
"You get on to easy networks, like Support and Logistics, in order to exploit the trust relationship that military departments have between each other, and once you get on to an easy thing, you find out what networks they trust and then you hop and hop and hop, and eventually you think, 'That looks a bit more secretive'," McKinnon told The Guardian.
McKinnon said he was eventually able to access the US' Space Command network, where he found evidence of an extra terrestrial mission.
"I found a list of officers' names," he claims, "under the heading 'Non-Terrestrial Officers'... What I think it means is not earth-based. I found a list of 'fleet-to-fleet transfers' and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren't US Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet."
McKinnon, however, said he can't remember much about the project as he had been "smoking a lot of dope at the time".
The hacker has also denied that he had made Washington's computer system inoperable, although he did admit he may have deleted some government files by accidentally pressing the wrong key.
While McKinnon is facing the possibility of up to 70 years in jail, it seems Nasa has more to worry about than the British man known as 'Solo' in the hacking community.
McKinnon continued: "Once you're on the network, you can do a command called NetStat - Network Status - and it lists all the connections to that machine. There were hackers from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Thailand... every night for the entire five to seven years I was doing this."