Trans-Atlantic hacker

Joseph McElroy, 18, a UK student cracked the security shield of the Fermi Nuclear Laboratory in Illinois, from a computer at his parents' house in June 2002.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2003 17:18 IST
PTI

Joseph McElroy, 18, a UK resident cracked the security shield of the Fermi Nuclear Laboratory in Illinois, from a computer at his parents' house in June 2002.

Soon after the teenager hacked into the top secret US nuclear weapons installation, operators hit the panic button. The facility was shut down for three days and everyone heightened efforts to find the source of the attack.

McElroy, who was then still in school, was finally tracked down by the Scotland Yard's computer crime unit and arrested at his parents' house. His computer equipment was also seized.

In court, he pleaded guilty and admitted that he used the laboratory's computer system to get free music and videos from the Internet, besides indulging in 'unauthorised modification' of the contents of the computer.

However, he did not hack into the classified section and posed no threat or risk to public safety at all, by his misadventure.

The university student is currently out on unconditional bail.

First Published: Nov 28, 2003 21:41 IST