In 1999, all the country was shaken by the news “a 15-year-old hacks NASA and U.S. Department of Defense”. Jonathan James was successful enough to get into history but unfortunate enough to get caught.
Between August and October 1999, James, 15 years old at that time, hacked US Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA multiple times, illegally entered a Pentagon computer system extracted 3,300 email conversations and stole passwords. Having used the nickname “c0mrade”, he entered the computer network operated by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency that was responsible for monitoring the threat from nuclear, chemical, and other special weapons. We could only imagine what criticism NASA and DoD underwent especially from the national media.
Thanks to being a juvenile, he was pleaded guilty at the court and was sentenced only to 6 months of detention. He served it in a Florida detention center. Meanwhile, NASA spent 3 weeks and nearly $41,000 on fixing the problem of the obtained source code.
In 2007, computer system hacks took place against Boston Market, Office Max, and others. Jonathan was also investigated regarding his connection to those crimes, although he denied any involvement.
His dramatic life finished when he committed suicide in 2008 at the age of 24. In his suicide note, he shared his fear of being prosecuted for what he hadn’t done.
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