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Leicestershire teen admits attempting to hack director of the CIA

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Bail

The 18-year-old has been released on unconditional bail, and still has access to computers.

I bet he's glad he was tried here rather than the US.

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Anonymous Coward

causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

If that was possible then isn't the CIA security at fault? If it's not possible then why the charge?

If I say "abracadabra the US 6th fleet to turn into frogs" is that an attempted act of terrorism?

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Joke

Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

Oh wow! you have a function like this: codeIsSecureFromAllThreats(program):bool

that takes an arbitrary program as an argument. While you're at it could you also provide me with:

doesHalt(program):bool

that would be much appreciated :)

While the point is that everyone should take basic security measures, neither of the above functions exist so guarding against all threats remains an exceptional feat. Equally true is: just because you can, does not mean you should. Secondly, your analogy suffers from the same problem that most analogies do, it is bad. If ineptitude excused a person's legal obligations, I'm almost certain that many legal representatives would urge the courts that their clients could not possibly have a guilty verdict rendered upon them, on the grounds that they were in some way stupid, like analogies.

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

"If I say "abracadabra the US 6th fleet to turn into frogs" is that an attempted act of terrorism?"

Pay no attention to those men dressed as undertakers waiting in a hearse round the corner from your house.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

If I say "abracadabra the US 6th fleet to turn into frogs" is that an attempted act of terrorism?

And if I answer, is that "supplying information likely to be of use to a terrorist"?

Rest assured, the government is undoubtedly mad, but that means they can expect to successfully plead "corporate insanity".

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

Rest assured, the government is undoubtedly mad as a box of frogs so maybe the spell worked.

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

"Pay no attention to those men dressed as undertakers waiting in a hearse round the corner from your house."

"Arrived today, made very welcome..."

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

"isn't the CIA security at fault"

You obviously don't know what the C, I and A stand for. It's the Complete Idiot Agency, they exist to draw the public's attention away from the NSA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

@noem

If legality had anything to do with anything, the American colonies would still be under British rule.

If it wasn't for them terrorists...

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

You obviously don't know what the C, I and A stand for

There is a company based in the south of England called "Christie Intruder Alarms". The alarm boxes they put on buildings are badged "CIA"

https://ciaalarms.co.uk/about-us/our-history

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

It sounds like the pertinent statute is the Computer Misuse one https://goo.gl/BkynJt . I don't think your argument will fly. In the US, indeed, if the act is impossible, then the person can't be charged with attempting to do it. The textbook example is that a eunuch can't be charged with attempted rape. But in this case (which is in the UK, of course), "causing risk" is the pivotal phrase.

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Re: causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security

You obviously don't know what the C, I and A stand for.

Everybody knows USians can't spell so it's obvious CIA stands for Cover Your Ass.

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Anonymous Coward

No sympathy this time

Gamble's barrister, William Harbage QC, said his client is "on the autistic spectrum".

And? I know and am related to a fair few people with official ASD labels. Seems to me that they do know right from wrong (if anything, seeing it in far more B&W terms than people without ASD). So given that the vast majority of people with ASD didn't try and hack US state computer systems, it doesn't sound much of an excuse. Back in the day of McKinnon, I'd agree with the defence that "the door seemed open, I just pushed it gently", but we're now past that. We all know the Feds don't like being hacked (much as they deserve it), and that they'll go after white collar amateur hackers with a vengeance. Maybe Mr Harbage should have told the court "My client is a dick, but he's really, really sorry, and won't do it again".

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CIA can't protect themselves from skiddies, wonder how the are handling actual threats?!?!?

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Key word here is *attempting*, they caught him and we certainly know of others they have too. So I don't think they're actually having any trouble in the protection or deterrence department.

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The real threats

go unnoticed for months maybe years and are never reported. Why? because they went unnoticed for months maybe years.

On another note:

Only skiddies attempt to hack from a location that can be traced back to them.

Running anothers' code is never hard, understanding what it does and what trails it leaves isn't so hard either... Unless one is a skiddie.

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So when's the extradition?

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followed by the obligatory handwringing by UK (Conservative) government saying there is nothing they can do as it is all in the UK-US extradition treaty and we must honour our treaty obligations, whilst at the same time happily renege on all the treaties the UK government signed with the EEC/EU...

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Anonymous Coward

Seems unfair tbh

CIA believes it has a right to hack anyone else on the planet. How come turnabout isn't fair play? Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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Re: Seems unfair tbh

The answer lies in your last sentence: "Live by the sword, die by the sword." The CIA doesn't want to die so they strike hard and fast.

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RSVP

LA 2018 Defcon invite ?

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Bah!

"Gamble's barrister, William Harbage QC, said his client is "on the autistic spectrum". "

Aren't you supposed to wait until the Americans ask for him to be extradited before playing the Asperger's Card?

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Re: Bah!

Why wait? Play that card early and see if it deflects the US. It doesn't normally but doing it early and setting the stage might just work... to some extent.

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Anonymous Coward

Why crown court?

He was pleading guilty so the only reason is the extended sentencing powers but I think it would be extremely harsh to send him to prison.

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Cases that get tried in Magistrate courts can be transferred to Crown courts for sentencing. Crown courts have more leeway on the sentence they can pass so a Crown court my give a suspended sentence where as the Magistrate court would not have that option.

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He entered his plea at crown court so it's probably because one or more of the offences were indictable (can only be tried at crown court). Only offences which are summary only or triable either way can be heard at magistrates court.

Had it been just for sentencing, the plea would have been heard at magistrates court and the case "referred to crown court for sentencing". That's not what the article says happened, so that means it was not taken to crown court just for sentencing.

Edit: Just looked it up - "causing risk of serious damage to human welfare/national security" is section 3ZA of Computer Misuse Act 1990, which was added by Serious Crime Act 2015, and is indictable only, therefore cannot be heard at a magistrates court, hence straight to crown court for plea hearing.

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FAIL

on the autistic spectrum

OMFG - aren't we all? I have stress in my life. My shorts were too tight. I can't afford to live in high style. The sun was in my eyes.

Do we have to put a written warning on every computer to not do stupid stuff now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: on the autistic spectrum

Oh another "I'm not xxx so I can throw stones at those who are" post.

When eugenics becomes a thing, I'm sure the elimination of autism people will be one of the (many) "improvements". If only to save the CIA from attacks by the low hanging fruit.

Not sure you'll be quite so keen to be counted amongst their ranks then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: on the autistic spectrum

"When eugenics becomes a thing,"

ORLY

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Anonymous Coward

Re: on the autistic spectrum

Apparently, autism spectrum people are disproportionately present in research positions.

Therefore, it can be said..

Autism causes Vaccines.

(originally saw this in a webcomic someplace, cant remember the name)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: on the autistic spectrum

Re: "ORLY"

"Eugenics - the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics)".

What do you think is the real purpose of mapping the human genome then? Or is it just an interesting science project? Or are you just unable to stop yourself from being sarcastic?

Some day society will accept it in the same way as today, government mandated vaccinations are seen as "the right thing to do". To coin a Star Trek phrase - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

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Anonymous Coward

We'll stop calling it Autistic Spectrum. In hacking cases we'll call it Kaspersky Spectrum.

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Silly boy

Doesn't he know that the CIA hacks you, not vice versa?

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Just to clarify, which CIA are we talking about here?

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I&I

Everyone is "on the autistic spectrum"

Ciao

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Unhappy

Remember back when "sense of proportion" was a thing?

Kid would do something stupid, cops/parents/random bystanders would kick his arse, everyone would move on, either lessons learnt or exercise to be repeated.

These days it seems no one can interfere with little timmies "Self Actualization" until he crosses boundaries he never learnt to respect, and the full weight and accompanying cost of the legal industry grinds into action, followed by baying media circus and several other tortured metaphors.

or

Smack your kids, its good for them.

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Re: Remember back when "sense of proportion" was a thing?

You seem a mighty big man Jim wanting to smack kids.

How about we review your life history and for everything we deem wrong we get to punch you.

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Re: Remember back when "sense of proportion" was a thing?

"How about we review your life history and for everything we deem wrong we get to punch you."

I assume you don't have kids, seeing as you think "smack" means the same thing as "punch". I have two children (14 and 19) and although I have on occasion smacked them, I have never punched them. And before you say it's the same thing...it isn't.

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Devil

I really dont like replying into my own posts

but..

this is exactly what I meant about sense of proportion.

Instead of a response appropriate to the situation, its straight to DEFCON 5, crucifixions all round, midnight renditions and spitttle all over the keyboard.

As for reviewing my life history, I am old enough that when I WAS young, physical punishment was one of the consequences of excessive stupidity. Most of the voices in my head tell me I'm sane, even if some of them are compulsive liars...

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So given the high profile extradition battles for other alleged hackers of US government systems, how come this one is being tried in a local Crown Court?

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Anonymous Coward

Has he got the plane ticket yet?

Best to pack light, orange jump suits are normally provided at the resort destination.

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Anonymous Coward

It's secret

If I were the CIA I wouldn't let anyone know I'd been hacked, successfully or not. I would make sure I had really good defences and I'd reward anyone who found a chink in my armour with a job.

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