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12 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United …

12 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California
announced that Robert Lyttle, 21, of Pleasant Hill, California, pleaded guilty
today in federal court in Oakland to hacking into government computers and then
defacing government websites with material illegally obtained from those
intrusions.

Mr. Lyttle pleaded guilty to each count of a five-count indictment charging
computer crimes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030. In pleading guilty, Mr. Lyttle,
who is known as one of the members of the self-titled hacking group called “The
Deceptive Duo,” admitted that he unlawfully accessed computer systems of various
federal agencies in April 2002, including the Department of Defense’s Defense
Logistic Information Service (DLIS), the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and NASA’s
Ames Research Center (ARC). In particular, Mr. Lyttle admitted that he:

* Gained unauthorized accessed to DLIS computers in Battle Creek, Michigan, for the
purpose of obtaining files that he later used to deface an OHA website hosted on
computers in San Antonio, Texas.

* Gained unauthorized access to a computer at NASA’s Ames Research Center located at
Moffett Field, California, and obtained information from that computer for the
purpose of defacing a website hosted on the computer.

* Caused damage to, or otherwise affected the government’s use of, the computer
systems, thereby requiring the government to incur costs in excess of $70,000.
*
* The maximum statutory penalty for the count related to the defacement of the OHA
website is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if
appropriate. The maximum statutory penalty for each of the counts related to the
DLIS and NASA ARC intrusions is five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus
restitution if appropriate. Finally, the maximum statutory penalty for the count
related to the defacement of the NASA ARC computer is one year imprisonment and a
fine of $100,000, plus restitution if appropriate. However, Mr. Lyttle’s sentence
will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines
and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553.
*
* A sentencing hearing is scheduled before United States District Court Judge D.
Lowell Jensen in Oakland on June 24, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.
*
* The prosecution is being overseen by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual
Property (CHIP) Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office and is the result of an
investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal
Investigative Service, and NASA’s Office of Inspector General. Kyle F. Waldinger is
the Assistant U.S. Attorney in the CHIP Unit who is prosecuting the case.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.