By Jo Best
11 July 2005
The British man thought to have hacked into 53 US government agencies'
computer systems has spoken out about his discoveries in Nasa's
The 39-year-old from north London told The Guardian he initially
started his hacking career when looking for evidence of a UFO
cover-up. Using a software program, Gary McKinnon was able to discover
senior network administrators who didn't use passwords.
"You get on to easy networks, like Support and Logistics, in order to
exploit the trust relationship that military departments have between
each other, and once you get on to an easy thing, you find out what
networks they trust and then you hop and hop and hop, and eventually
you think, 'That looks a bit more secretive'," McKinnon told The
McKinnon said he was eventually able to access the US' Space Command
network, where he found evidence of an extra terrestrial mission.
"I found a list of officers' names," he claims, "under the heading
'Non-Terrestrial Officers'... What I think it means is not
earth-based. I found a list of 'fleet-to-fleet transfers' and a list
of ship names. I looked them up. They weren't US Navy ships. What I
saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet."
McKinnon, however, said he can't remember much about the project as he
had been "smoking a lot of dope at the time".
The hacker has also denied that he had made Washington's computer
system inoperable, although he did admit he may have deleted some
government files by accidentally pressing the wrong key.
While McKinnon is facing the possibility of up to 70 years in jail, it
seems Nasa has more to worry about than the British man known as
'Solo' in the hacking community.
McKinnon continued: "Once you're on the network, you can do a command
called NetStat - Network Status - and it lists all the connections to
that machine. There were hackers from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Turkey,
Thailand... every night for the entire five to seven years I was doing
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