Computer Hackers
Reported DOD computer systems intrusions increased over 100% per
year to an excess of 2,500 in 1996. Only about four percent of all
intrusions are ever reported.


1. John "Captain Crunch" Draper pioneered the use of cereal box whistles to simulate long distance call tones (2600Hz). He was arrested repeatedly in the 1970s for phone tampering.

2. Eric Corley, aka "Emmanuel Goldstein," was arrested in 1984 for hacking into IBM’s phone mail system to use as a toll-free message center.

3. Neal Patrick and six others known as the "414" were busted by the FBI for computer trespassing. Patrick got immunity; the others got probation.

4. Robert Morris Jr., unintentionally put a "worm" on the Internet in November 1988, shutting it down for six days. He was convicted in 1990 and fined $10,000.

5. Kevin Mitnick, referred to as the "John Dillinger of hackers," was placed on probation in 1981 for hacking activities. He was convicted in 1989 for creating millions of dollars damage by breaking into DEC Corporation computer system and sentenced to one year in jail. He was again arrested in February 1995 and faces up to 35 years in jail. Mitnick is charged with breaking into a west coast internet service provider’s computer system and stealing 20,000 customer credit card numbers.

6. Six German hackers broke into the MILNET computer system in March 1989. Three are charged and convicted in Germany for spying for the Soviet KGB. The others died under mysterious circumstances.

7. Friday the 13th virus was supposed to strike in October 1989. While causing great turmoil in British systems, little effect was felt in the United States.

8. Justin Peterson, a convicted hacker, was released from prison by the FBI and used from September 1991 to October 1993 to track down Kevin Mitnick. Peterson trained agents in the "art" of hacking and aided in hacker investigations. He was sent back to prison for criminal computer activities while working for the FBI.

9. Student David LaMacchia was indicted for allowing more than $1 million in stolen software programs to be distributed over the Internet. The charges were dropped as there were no specific laws at the time to convict him.

10. Alleged spies Aldrich Ames and Harold Nicholson supposedly passed secrets to their "handlers" via computer disk.

11. Julio Cesar Ardita, a 21 year-old computer hacker from Argentina, was "caught in the act" via one of the first ever court-ordered computer wiretaps in December 1995. He was named on charges of illegally entering DoD and NASA computer systems by first hacking into Harvard’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Sciences system, then moving onto the DoD and NASA systems. He obtained information about satellites, radiation and engineering. He also reportedly gained access to computers at the California Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and computers in Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile, and Brazil. The charges were not extraditable under existing United States-Argentina treaties.

12. Pfc. Eric Jenott was charged in September 1996 with espionage for allegedly hacking into military computer systems and giving national defense secrets to the Chinese. He was convicted in December 1996 of three counts of computer crimes and damaging government property. He was acquitted on charges of espionage and giving out classified computer information. He was sentenced to three years at Leavenworth. Jenott’s conviction is under appellate review at the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.


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   Last Updated: April 30, 1997