Gary Mckinnon

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Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon


The report is based on the analysis of the Curious Case of Gary McKinnon Alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon of the United Kingdom has publicly admitted to compromising computer systems belonging to NASA and the Department of Defense. The paper discusses the theories cyber-crime and cyber criminals. Finally, the report recommends the steps that are taken for the computer security.


A cyber attack using or exploiting computer or communication networks to cause sufficient destruction or disruption to generate fear or to intimidate a society into an ideological goal.” This scenario originates in a NASA, but the report goes on to concede that due to its non-physical nature, accurate definitions of cyber terrorism are not easy to produce (Verton 2003). The NASA Office of Security does recognize that it is becoming increasingly feasible to exploit the many vulnerabilities of cyber space, especially with regard to those services that rely on computer and communication networks.

Another approach to looking at the issue of McKinnon is to ask: who are the cyber terrorists and what is the main aim to exploded the system belongings of NASA? For the most fatal forms of attack they would have to be hackers, i.e. advanced computer users who dedicate their time to finding vulnerabilities in IT systems. Our typical impression of McKinnon is of people generally lacking the motivation to cause severe economic or social harm. McKinnon in the news include, for example, the two teenagers who in 1998 were found to be accessing US air force IT systems, amongst other things, and who were eventually brought to justice.

It is frequent that terrorist activities overlap with more widespread kinds of criminality. There are already innumerable computer criminals, determined to commit any form of fraudulent activity generally for financial gain (Colarik 2006). We could find terrorists making use of such methods as phishing, extortion using e-mails, and the insertion of viruses, especially Trojans. Anyone with an average ability to use the Internet, and enough money and motivation, could mount a Denial of Service attack.

It is the increasing frequency of events such as these that put the issue of cyber defense firmly on the agenda during the 2002 NASA. There are also examples of attacks on other organizations. Very recently, in the past months, the United Nations (UN) has been hit by a string of hacking attacks aimed, among other things, as building 'botnet' hordes. These ...
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