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Home » Hacking News » McKinnon turning a new leaf

McKinnon turning a new leaf

by Nikola Strahija on July 20th, 2005 Gary McKinnon, the British hacker facing an extradition hearing in nine days time has warned other hacking wannabees not to follow his example. Looking at a possible 72 years in a US prison, if he is forced to stand trial in America for entering over 53 US military computer systems, is terrified by the prospect.

-I was not doing anything - I wasn't damaging anything, he said. -I was just looking. I did not think about the legal side of things and now I am facing the prospect of extreme violence in some US jail. One thing that concerns me at the moment is that lots of young people sending emails seem impressed by what I have done and find it exciting and interesting. Believe you me my current position is wholly unexciting and very, very serious. I would like to say to all aspiring young hackers, do not do it.’

Speaking in a series of intensely personal interviews given over the last week McKinnon told the Register about the disaster that his life has become due to his twin obsessions, computing and UFO research. -It's like looking at another person when I look back at how I was in 2000 - 2001. I was completely obsessed, uncaring about myself and those around me and yet very concerned with the outside world of George Bush and the US military."

At that time, McKinnon, was on a mission to prove that a technology called 'anti-gravity' had been developed by the US and was being kept secret so the US could exploit it rather than releasing it for the good of the world. -The kind of addiction I had to hacking was very similar to how game-playing made you feel, gaining access to deeper and deeper security layers was just like the structure of a computer game. This was the best computer game that I had ever seen but it was real.’

Caught by his obsessions he admits that lost touch with reality and morality. He wasn’t washing or eating or doing anything else but sitting in front of computer. Today he thinks that his revealing and capture saved his life. He is sorry and would like to make things better. One of his biggest wishes is to fight against terrorism: -When I heard about the London bombings and that someone had claimed responsibility on a website my first thought was - 'why don't they hack the server, copy the data over, read the logs and find out where the message was posted from? I think there's a future in fighting terrorism via the internet, because communications are fundamental to a war on terror. I know various Governments have their hacking teams and I could be of great value operating as part of one of them rather than rotting in a jail cell.’

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