British hacker Gary McKinnon was responsible for one of the biggest military hacks of all time. He had admitted to data intrusion to find out whether UFOs exist. The computers he attacked belong to NASA.
McKinnon said that he did not cause any damages while hacking NASA’s systems, but the U.S. government claims that he stole 950 passwords and deleted files that were necessary for replenishing the supplies of an Atlantic fleet. This took place in 2001. The U.S. government also believes that McKinnon disrupted military network operations conducted after 9/11. The damages caused by McKinnon’s behavior is estimated to be around $700,000.
The lawyers of McKinnon is claiming that the hacker is too sick to travel to the United States. McKinnon has Asperger’s Syndrome which they are claiming could drive him to suicide if he travels to the U.S.
The House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights have approved McKinnon’s extradition to the U.S. so it is very likely that he will end up going. If McKinnon is not extradited to the U.S., he may face less serious penalties in the U.K. courts. The matter is under judicial review by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.