February 7th, 2002, 08:14 AM
NASA hacker gets 21 months in jail
A prolific computer criminal who admitted breaking into NASA computers was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Monday. Jason Allen Diekman, who went by the nicknames “Shadow Knight” and “Dark Lord,” was also ordered to pay $88,000 in fines and restitution. The 20-year-old Californian admitted to hacking computers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and other NASA computers at Stanford University during November 2000.
Diekman admitted breaking into hundreds of computers at an impressive list of government and university institutions. On the list: Stanford, Harvard, Cornell University, the California State University at Fullerton and University of California campuses in Los Angeles and San Diego, according to the U.S. Attorney’s California Central District office.
“The judge (Dean D. Pregerson) told the defendant that what he had done was very disruptive and caused tremendous harm to a number of people. ... In fact, the judge called his conduct ‘insidious,’” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Arif Alikhan, chief of the district’s Computer Crimes Section. “So I think the judge acknowledged the seriousness of the offenses.”
Even while Diekman was free on bond after pleading guilty in the NASA case, he used his home computer to gain unauthorized access to computers at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Alikhan said.
He later pleaded guilty to that crime — which included spending 8,000 minutes of conference call time stolen from AT&T. Much of that time was used trying to arrange fraudulent wire transfers through Western Union, Alikhan said. He said Diekman was trying to wire money to himself using stolen credit to fund the transfer.
Also after the initial guilty plea, Diekman admitted breaking into machines at Bay Area Internet Solutions Inc., an Internet service provider in San Jose. According to Alikhan, Diekman and others then managed to get copies of various company databases that contained account information and passwords.
The NASA computer systems at Stanford that Diekman broke into were used to develop sensitive satellite flight control software that controlled NASA satellites, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Diekman has been held in a federal jail without bond since his arrest in the OSU hacking case on April 18, 2001.
Source: www.blackcode.com and www.xatrix.org