IDG News Service – (National) What’s the price for secret access to U.S. Gov’t supercomputers? $50,000. Authorities arrested a man, of Devon, Pennsylvania, June 14 on charges he tried to sell secret access to two U.S. government supercomputers for $50,000 to an undercover FBI agent. The supercomputers belong to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). The indictment said that he and an as-of-yet unindicted co-conspirator nicknamed “Intel” chatted online with an undercover FBI agent April 16, 2011. The two were part of a hacking group known as the “Underground Intelligence Agency.” The defendant is alleged to have said he and his partner had access to half of the top 500 supercomputers, possessing some “root” access and other access credentials, mostly on “.gov” and “.edu” domains. In July, he “offered to sell” to the undercover FBI agent log-in credentials to nersc.gov for $50,000, the indictment said. He is also accused of installing backdoors and obtaining log-in credentials for other groups including RNKTel.com, a service provider in Massachusetts, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is charged in federal court in Massachusetts with conspiracy, two counts of computer fraud, and access device fraud.
Ali Loney, on June 15, 2012