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British National Arrested for Hacking into US Military and Govt. Systems

Computerweekly.com reported on 28th October, 2013 stating that UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested a 28-year old British man Lauri Love on the suspicion of hacking into US military and government systems.

Authorities said that Love was charged with violation of Computer Misuse Act in Britain and was accused of accessing a U.S. government computer without permission and conspiracy in the United States. In the US, he was charged and arrested on 25th October, 2013 and has been released on bail till February 2014.

The accusation alleges that Love and his unnamed co-conspirators hacked into thousands of computer systems between October 2012 and October 2013. Love and his conspirators used to place malicious code or malware inside the system, which would create a backdoor or shell within the networks. This shell opened the doors for getting back to the compromised computer system at a later date to steal confidential data.

Love and his conspirators used secure online chat forums known as Internet relay chats or IRC, for planning and executing the attacks. They communicated through these chats for identifying and locating computer networks which were vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Once, such networks were identified, they made efforts for gaining access to these networks for stealing substantial data. Allegations also reveal that the culprits followed a clear object of conspiracy which included hacking the computer networks of government victims and stealing large quantities of non-public data including PII (personally identifying information). All this was aimed at disturbing the operations and infrastructure of the government of United States.

Love and his alleged conspirators are said to have used the Tor network to conceal their activities and real identities.

Computerweekly.com published a report on 28th October, 2013 quoting Andy Archibald, Head of NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit as saying "Cybercriminals should be aware that no matter wherever in the world you commit cybercrime, even at remote places, you will be identified and held accountable for your actions. The NCA has developed law enforcement alliances globally well and we will pursue and deal robustly with cyber-criminals."

Love faces imprisonment upto five years with a fine on each U.S. criminal count. Prosecutors said that he faces additional charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia and stemming from other unspecified "intrusions".

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