I'm working for the FBI, claims accused hacker

Thursday, 31 July 2003, 6:38 PM EST

Self-styled grey hat hacker Jesse Tuttle is fighting charges that he broke into his local council's computer network with a claim that he only did it as part of his work with the FBI.

Tuttle (AKA Hackah Jak), from Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, Ohio, claims the Feds sanctioned him to prowl the Net for sensitive computers as part of a deal he signed two years ago. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that in August 2001 federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges for cracking into the computer system of a New York brokerage firm in return for his subsequent assistance as an informer.

From then, on everything the 23 year-old did online, from "tapping into computer systems to posing as a teenage girl online - was related to his work with the FBI", the paper reports.

Although the FBI never asked him to crack specific systems, Tuttle claims the agency encouraged his work and paid him up to $1,000 cash a pop for his information. He was helping safeguard systems by, er, breaking into them.

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