08 May 2014

Former US Navy System Administrator Accused of Hacking Navy, Police, Homeland Security

A 27-year-old former navy nuclear system administrator has been arrested for allegedly hacking the systems of the US Navy, Homeland Security, various police departments and other private and public organizations, according to The US Department of Justice

In all, Virginia native Paul Knight is accused of hacking more than 30 organizations, many of them linked with security. Daniel Krueger, 20, was also arrested for hacking conspiracy as they allegedly worked closely with a hacking group dubbed Team Digi7al.

 “The Navy quickly identified the breach and tracked down the alleged culprits through their online activity, revealing an extensive computer hacking scheme committed across the country and even abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams. “We aggressively pursue individuals who steal personal information, especially when they victimize the men and women who bravely defend our country and our Constitution.”

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) found a breach in 2012 in the Navy’s Smart Web Move (SWM) database that stored personal information of close to 220,000 service members.

The NCIS was assisted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) investigators to identify Knight and Krueger. They found information that alleged the two men and Team Digi7al hacked into the systems of private and public organizations with the intent of stealing sensitive information.

The alleged victims of Knight, Krueger, and other suspects included the systems of the following organizations:

U.S. Navy

U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

AT&T U-verse

Autotrader.com

Harvard University

Johns Hopkins University

Kawasaki

Library of Congress

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Louisville University

MeTV Network

Montgomery Police Department (Alabama)

Peruvian Ambassador’s email (in Bolivia)

San Jose State University

Stanford University

Toronto Police Service (Canada)

Ultimate Car Page

University of Alabama

University of British Columbia (Canada)

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

World Health Organization

“At the time of the hacking attacks, Knight was an active duty enlisted Navy member assigned to the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman as a systems administrator in the nuclear reactor department,” the press release said. “Krueger was a student at an Illinois community college where he studied network administration.”

If convicted, the defendants could receive a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.