Gary McKinnon, a British computer expert, claims he's just fascinated with UFOs. Using his home computer and a modem — how WarGames! — he infiltrated military networks and accessed thousands of computers trying to find evidence of alien contact. Now caught and having lost an appeal with the British courts, he's awaiting extradition to the United States to stand trial, accused of the "biggest military hack of all time." The full list of his computer-exploiting prowess:
Using his own computer at home in London, McKinnon hacked into 97 computers belonging to and used by the U.S. government between February 2001 and March 2002.
McKinnon is accused of causing the entire U.S. Army's Military District of Washington network of more than 2,000 computers to be shut down for 24 hours.
Using a limited 56-kbps dialup modem and the hacking name "Solo" he found many U.S. security systems used an insecure Microsoft Windows program with no password protection.
He then bought off-the-shelf software and scanned military networks, saying he found expert testimonies from senior figures reporting that technology obtained from extra-terrestrials did exist.
At the time of his indictment, Paul McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said: "Mr. McKinnon is charged with the biggest military computer hack of all time."
If found guilty, McKinnon could be jailed for 70 years and fined as much as $1.75 million.