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UK man arrested for hacking into US government computers

Briton Lauri Love is accused of hacking into various US agencies, including the US army, Nasa, the federal reserve and the environmental protection agency

Police have arrested a 30-year-old man in Stradishall, Suffolk on suspicion of hacking into US government computer networks.

Lauri Love is accused of hacking into various US agencies, including the US army, Nasa, the federal reserve and the environmental protection agency.

Love was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan police’s extradition unit on behalf of US authorities who had issued an extradition warrant, reports The Guardian.

Love was charged in New Jersey in 2013 and then charged in 2014 in Virginia and New York.

According to the indictment against him in New York, Love bragged to other hackers in December 2012 that he controlled the computer server for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

He also allegedly discussed possibly defacing the Federal Reserve website, sending fake emails to users of its computer system and publishing employee passwords and phone numbers.

Love was arrested in the UK in October 2013 under the UK’s Computer Misuse Act that allows the arrest of anyone who starts attacks from the UK on computers anywhere in the world, but was released without charge in 2014, reports The Daily Mail.

Love’s solicitor, Karen Todner, said her client’s bail was cancelled more than a year ago and his arrest was “out of the blue”.

Since his arrest, Love has appeared at Westminster magistrates court, where he was granted conditional bail before a full extradition hearing on 1 September 2015.

Read more about Gary McKinnon

Todner, who also represented Glasgow-born hacker Gary McKinnon through his battle against extradition to the US, said Love will be fighting the extradition request.

McKinnon, who was accused of hacking into 97 US federal and military computer systems in 2002, set up a search engine optimisation business in 2014 after winning his 10-year battle against extradition due to the intervention of home secretary Theresa May in October 2012.

May made the move on human rights grounds because of medical reports warning that McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome and suffers from depressive illness, could kill himself if sent to the US.

McKinnon was arrested in 2002 and in 2005 before a warrant for his extradition was issued in July 2006 under the 2003 Extradition Act.

US authorities wanted to extradite McKinnon to face charges of causing $900,000 worth of damage to military computer systems.

He would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted, but McKinnon maintains he was merely looking for evidence of extra-terrestrial life and technologies and did not cause any damage.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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This particular hacker has been arrested repeatedly, with little consequence, mostly because of his claims that no harm was done. Perhaps. We would be more vigilant if he'd broken into a physical bank just to sniff the money. We need to get more serious about cybersecurity.
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White collar criminals still tend to get off with a slap on the hand, unfortunately. Whereas if he had physically broken into a bank, even without stealing anything, that would be a blue collar crime and he would definitely be punished. 
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