Hacker attack left port in chaos

Tuesday, 7 October 2003, 9:40 AM EST

A lovesick hacker brought chaos to America's busiest seaport after launching a computer attack on an internet chatroom user who had made anti-American comments, a court heard yesterday.

Aaron Caffrey, 19, is alleged to have brought computer systems to a halt at the Port of Houston, in Texas, from his bedroom in Shaftesbury, Dorset, in what police believe to be the first electronic attack to disable a critical part of a country's infrastructure.

Paul Addison, prosecuting, told a jury at Southwark crown court that the teenager's intended target was a female chatroom user called Bokkie with whom he had argued over remarks she had made about the US.

The court heard that Caffrey, who has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, had an American girlfriend called Jessica and when Bokkie started criticising the country and its people, he became upset and allegedly launched the electronic sabotage.

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