[ISN] Hackers slam McKinnon extradition ruling

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Fri May 12 2006 - 01:10:38 PDT


By John Leyden
11th May 2006

The prosecution of alleged Pentagon uber-hacker Gary McKinnon shows
that the US is failing to take even basic precautions to protect its
military systems, according to a reformed computer hacker accused of
similar crimes 10 years ago.

Mathew Bevan, whose hacker handle is Kuji, was accused of breaking
into US military computer systems but escaped without punishment when
a 1997 case at Woolwich Crown Court was dropped after a long-running
legal battle.

After the case, Bevan became an ethical hacker and security consultant
with Tiger Computer Security, and later on a freelance basis with his
firm the Kuji Media Corporation.

"The internet was just starting out and in its infancy at the time of
my alleged crimes. The prosecution against McKinnon, and what he says
he was able to do, show that US military security has not changed. The
authorities have not woken up," Bevan told El Reg.

Earlier on Wednesday, a judge gave the go-ahead to the extradition of
McKinnon (AKA Solo). If Home Secretary John Reid confirms the
decision, which may become the subject of appeal, McKinnon faces the
possibility of trial by a military tribunal and the prospect of
decades in jail. McKinnon is accused of causing damage to US military
and NASA systems that he allegedly conducted in search of evidence the
US government was suppressing alien technology salvaged from wrecked

Bevan, like McKinnon, has an interest in free energy and evidence of
UFOs. "You might say Gary was following in my footsteps and doing the
same thing, albeit using different techniques. McKinnon has admitted
hacking into systems in interviews. He's unfortunate because what he's
done is a few years too late and in a different political climate,"  
Bevan said.

Bevan said the military systems McKinnon is accused of hacking were an
open resource that were likely used by numerous hackers, some with
hostile intent.

"McKinnon was just snooping and what he did was not motivated by
personal gain. There is no reason for his extradition. He ought to be
tried in the UK. The US has labeled him as a cyberterrorist and the
'biggest military hacker ever', but this just looks like an attempt to
drum up publicity for the case," he added.

Daniel Cuthbert, a London-based security consultant tried over
allegations that he illegally accessed the Tsunami appeal website, and
subsequently convicted on what many in the security industry reckon
was questionable grounds, also feels McKinnon has been harshly

"I do feel he is being made an example of. He screwed up and shouldn't
have been in the systems at all, but at the same time the punishment
he is facing just doesn't match the crime. For the amount of years he
is looking at, it would have been better in the eyes of the law to be
a rapist or some other type of violent criminal," Cuthbert told El

"It's another example of the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] and legal
system not being able to cope with the movement of technology. They
are still 10 years behind and using the CMA [Computer Misuse Act] as
the backbone for all technology related cases," he added. 

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