British man arrested for hacking into Fermilab computers

Monday, 14 July 2003, 9:01 AM EST

High-speed connections and plenty of computer memory are part of the necessary hardware Fermilab needs to work with scientists around the world.

It's also what hackers look for when tapping into a system.

Computers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are regularly scanned by hackers trying to get in. Most of the time, they can't. But once in a while, someone succeeds in tapping into computers at the facility near Batavia.

Last year, a British man successfully broke into Fermilab's computer system and gained access to 17 desktop computers at the U.S. Department of Energy facility. The man, who was arrested this week, used the computers to store movies and other copyrighted material, which he later illegally sold over the Internet.

"What he was after was the network connection and the disk storage space," said Dane Skow, deputy computer security executive for Fermilab.

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