Sentencing date set in nuclear lab hack case

Tuesday, 20 January 2004, 4:00 AM EST

A sentencing date has been set for a UK teenager who admits breaking into the network of a US high-energy physics research lab.

Joseph McElroy, 19, from Woodford Green in East London, is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on February 2 for hacking into the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in June 2002.

McElroy pleaded guilty to hacking into 17 computers at the Illinois laboratory, offences under the UK's Computer Misuse Act, at a hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court last October.

The teenager's actions had serious consequences, even though his objective was only to use the lab's network to download films and music from the Net. The lab's computer systems had to be shut down for three days once the intrusion, which triggered a full-scale alert, was discovered. The Fermi Lab is run by the US Department of Energy.

By John Leyden at The Register.

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