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Hacker Gary McKinnon Interviewed 350

G0rAk writes "The BBC World Service has a half hour audio interview with British hacker Gary McKinnon. As recently reported on/. and BBC News, Gary was arrested and freed on bail pending extradition proceedings to the U.S. There, he faces charges of gaining unauthorised access and causing criminal damage to military computers in his search for evidence of UFO coverups and anti-gravity technology of extra-terrestrial origin. In a very candid interview, Gary re-affirms that he had no malicious intent, was amazed at the ease with which he penetrated the networks, explains in detail what evidence of UFO coverups he saw, describes a personal journey through hell as he became obsessed with the project and how very scared he is that he could be facing up to seventy years in a Virginian jail. A bit of a nut, perhaps. But a fascinating listen that helps a lot in making that judgment. The Interview can be listened to with RealPlayer from 11:32 GMT (06:32 EST) on Saturday until the same time next week."
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Hacker Gary McKinnon Interviewed

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  • by soma_0806 ( 893202 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:11PM (#13151230)

    You know, some of us on /. are actual attorneys. I'm finishing up law school now and at least three of my teachers are avid readers. So maybe some of those opinions are worth paying a little attention to....

    This smells a little like flame-bait to me.

  • Re:Transcript? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrtroy ( 640746 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:22PM (#13151297)
    He says he is just a geek
    He says he didnt damage systems, but the US gov considers it damage if you even have to make changes once you know the system is comprimised
    He was a hairdresser, then got an "Access certification"
    Then he started doing research in UFO research
    He believes there is anti-gravity propulsion that was recovered by alien spacecraft
    He continues sounding like a nut about UFO technology that the USA now uses
    Claims he wants to provide the free energy that the US army uses to the rest of the world
    He "hacked" by accessing computers with blank admin passes (windoze)
    Allegedly there was mulitple people on the same networks
    Haha...he knows this from netstat, there was connections all over
    Apparently he found proof because people were airbrushing out UFO's from satellite images
    Also an excel spreadsheet with "non terrestrial officers" on the list
    Hahahahahaha she asked if he was doing a lot of drugs during this time, and he said he was smoking a bit of weed
    He stopped washing himself at one point he said
    He left his job and lost his girlfriend
    But he lived with that girlfriend even afterwords (what a pimp!)
    Somehow they bring Iraq and 9/11 into this
    He got busted after playing videogames all night
    Americans started talking about extradition, so thats when he was getting concerned, it somehow jumped from 2 years to 4 years to 18 years to 70 years.
    He thinks he is a scapegoat for all the hacking going on
  • Re:Long sentence (Score:4, Informative)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) * on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:26PM (#13151318) Journal
    Don't really know the US law, but I thought that in modern world there would be no sentences over 20 years.

    1) It's common to stack sentences over here. A murderer might end up facing several consecutive life sentances.
    2) Prison guards have a very, very strong lobbying presence in California (not sure about the rest of the US). They frequently agitate for longer prison time, no matter what the crime.
    (a repulsive and immoral practice, imho)
  • Re:Hack this format (Score:5, Informative)

    by JasonFriedman ( 637086 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:27PM (#13151325) Homepage
    if you wget the .ram it contains:


    use mplayer to download it:

    mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile interview.rm rtsp://

    then convert to wav:

    mplayer interview.rm -ao pcm -aofile interview.wav

    use lame to convert to mp3:

    lame -h interview.wav interview.mp3

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:29PM (#13151341)
    From the eye witness report I read he was brought down on the train by several plain clothes officers who THEN shot him 5 times in the head. Maybe it's me, but after they've got him held down and (presumably) under control where's the need to execute him? Which, after all, is what occured.
  • by mrgreenfur ( 685860 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:32PM (#13151355)
    The officers were in plainclothes. If you were being chased by a gang of plainclothesed guys you'd jump the barriers too.

    He did nothing wrong, but run when a gang of guys ran after him. Thank god that danger is gone.
  • Re:Unemployed? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2005 @04:35PM (#13151377)
    Obviously, you didn't listen to the interview, or RTFT (read the fucking transcript) because if you had you would have learned he got in to a lot of systems by simply scanning for windows systems that had blank administrator passwords. Plus, he also noticed that a lot of the systems he got on had already been compromised as was seeing connections from China, North Korea, Russia, etc. "Most secure systems in the world" -riiigghht.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @05:01PM (#13151542)
    The is no smoke without fire.

    Oh bullshit. The Met has issued a statement confirming that the man had absolutely no connection to the bombings.
  • by robla ( 4860 ) * on Sunday July 24, 2005 @06:53PM (#13152193) Homepage Journal
    I agree: "hacker" and "cracker" are synonymous, despite what ye olde hackers believe. It seems that this happened so long ago, that it's way beyond quixotic to keep up the fight now:

    Check out this thread, dated March 7, 1989: []

    Brad Templeton wrote: It is with regret that I have to say that this fight has been lost. "Hacker" and "computer criminal" are now equated in the public mind, to the extent that this use of "hacker" now appears in newspaper headlines. The German Spy breakins confirm this in papers all over the world.

  • Re:Thank you Gary (Score:3, Informative)

    by niittyniemi ( 740307 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @11:52PM (#13153645) Homepage

    > How well protected are these systems really then?


    I heard the interview on the World Service and he said in the interview that he broke into Windows machines using user admin where the password hadn't been set. Remember that MS-SQL used to ship like that by default? But I bet he used others too eg. IIS.

    So his uber 133t hacking skills involved the use of Google and setting a password!

    He said that netstat and traceroute on IP addresses showed that the boxes already had active tcp/ip connections to Korea, Russia etc. and I'm presuming his skills helped him determine that these were not legitimate (ie. not port 80)

    He sounded like a nice enough guy. A bit young and clueless but far from an extradition to a foreign power and a possible 70 year sentence in a pound-me-in-the-ass prison. He was expecting a few months suspended under British law.

  • yes (Score:3, Informative)

    by subtropolis ( 748348 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @12:45AM (#13153820)
    No escape: Male Rape in US PRisons []
    Most guys raped are guys for there first time locked up, between the ages 18-30 that looks young, not strong, looks lonely, scared. Guys watch these things.
    -- M.F., Ohio, 9/6/96
    I was "rented out" for sexual favors, and a lot of the guys who rented me are not rapists, or assaulted as children, or any other stereotypical model. They just wanted some sexual satisfaction, even though they knew I was not deriving pleasure from it, and was there only because I was forced to. . . . I was with the Valluco (Valley) crowd, so I was only passed around to them for free. D. Town Hispanics had to pay. They were charged $3 for a blow-job, $5 for anal sex.
    -- S.H., Texas, 9/10/96
    I didn't know how the prison system work, so this inmate come up to the A & O unit and gives me three packs of cigarettes, I didn't know where they came from, or why they was given to me, I took the cigarettes, two weeks later I was placed in population, and here come this big old guy name [M], telling me that I belong to him because he had bought me, and had the same guy there who had brought me the cigarettes to verify it.
    --C.D., Indiana, 10/8/96
    Often the victim will be tied up on a bed, face down and sold until the debt is finished or until the novelty is gone.
    -- C.M., Illinois, 10/8/96
  • Re:Thank you Gary (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @02:38AM (#13154164) Homepage Journal
    To be fair to him lots of words have different meanings within and outside particular groups of people.

    However I do think hacker is a lost cause, because the two meanings are too similar. However while those of you who want the word used correctly, could you help improve precision which we can use the English language by also being careful to use the following words strictly according to their original definitions:

    gay: happy, jolly
    rude: rustic, crude
    gentleman: person with enough property not to need to work
    lady: the wife of a knight or lord
    charity: love of people per se (and of God)

    You will notice that in each case the current meaning of the word is redundant (there are synonyms) and less precise than the original, therefore the change of meaning has shrunk the range of the language. Much like the case with hacker. So, please be consistent, use all these words (and many more) accurately. The only problem is that most people will not understand you: but then again why not allow the ignorant to misunderstand you.

    (note to moderators: this is meant to ironic. If you have not heard the word before please look it up).

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